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Ky. Atty. General
Candidates Have Baggage
Tue Sep 23 2003
By CHARLES WOLFE, Associated Press Writer
FRANKFORT, Ky. - Apparently you don't have to be a Boy Scout
to run for Kentucky's top law enforcement job. The race for
attorney general pits a state lawmaker being sued for child
support against a one-time judge twice disciplined on the
bench and an independent who says he is "anti-drug" yet
regularly smokes marijuana.
Some prosecutors consider it a less-than-ideal field.
"I have the same concerns that other citizens would have,"
said Allen Trimble, commonwealth's attorney for Whitley and
McCreary counties. "We expect our attorneys general to kind of
take the moral high plain. If they fall from that, it kind of
The Democrat in the race is Rep. Greg Stumbo, majority leader
of the Kentucky House who likes to talk about how he would
fight drug crimes if elected.
His Republican opponent, Jack Wood, insists on talking about
something else — a lawsuit filed against Stumbo by a woman
with whom he fathered a child during an affair. The lawsuit
seeks $43,000 in back child support.
Wood pours it on when he gets Stumbo in front of an audience.
Last month, at a stump-speaking picnic in western Kentucky,
some in the audience taunted Stumbo with placards bearing
slogans such as "Greg, will you take a DNA test?" and "Greg
are you my dad?"
When Wood got his turn at the microphone, he recounted his
experience pursuing child-support cases as an assistant
prosecutor in Louisville. Turning to Stumbo, Wood said: "Does
that give you nightmares at night, Greg?"
Stumbo, whose son was born in 1988, said he has made support
payments since 2002, when a DNA test confirmed he was the
father. He said the lawsuit should not be an issue, though the
attorney general is chairman of a state commission that
oversees collection of child support statewide.
While opponents raised the issue in the Democratic primary,
Stumbo won a three-way race with 36 percent of the vote. No
independent polls have been conducted for the general
election, to be held Nov. 4.
A one-time district court judge in rural southern Kentucky,
Wood twice was disciplined for allegedly deceptive election
advertising in the early 1980s. He also feuded publicly with
his court clerk and a former law partner.
"If I had a record like Jack Wood, I'd be ashamed," Stumbo
Wood said Stumbo's flaws are worse: "If you take his dirt and
throw it on the wall, and you throw mine, and you take a
pressure washer, his stays up there and mine goes to the
Gatewood Galbraith, the independent, has run three times for
governor and twice for Congress as a Democrat, Reform Party
member or independent. He first gained political attention by
advocating legalization of marijuana.
He now advocates marijuana only for medical use and claims to
have a marijuana prescription from a California doctor to ease
asthma and emphysema.