Edelen Announces Run for Governor, Third Democrat to Enter Race

Former state auditor Adam Edelen became the third Democrat to enter this year's race for Kentucky governor.

Edelen, 44, is running with Louisville businessman Gil Holland as his lieutenant governor candidate.

"My upbringing grounded in me the belief that potential is always more important than position, that regardless of who your parents are, where you were born, your gender or who you love, you have the right to be heard and you deserve a shot at chasing your piece of the American dream," Edelen said in an announcement.

"I was blessed to have been provided a chance from people who believed in me and I’ve spent my career trying to pass on that same opportunity to others. That’s why I am proud to announce I am running for Governor of Kentucky."

In the announcement, which included a campaign video, Edelen said that he would not accept PAC money.

"More than ever we’ve got to raise up a generation of new leaders and new voices to fight for tomorrow and the opportunities that have been denied to Kentuckians for generations," Edelen said. "This is a fight that has to be fueled by real people."

Edelen is joined in the Democratic primary, scheduled for May, by Attorney General Andy Beshear and State Rep. Rocky Adkins.

Edelen is well-known to voters in Northern Kentucky.

During his term as state auditor, 2011-2015, Edelen's scathing audits led to the imprisonment of former Dayton Schools Superintendent Gary Rye and a major restructuring of the governance of the Kenton County Airport Board.

His successes in office, though, could not withstand the Republican winds of 2015 that swept Governor Matt Bevin into office. Edelen was narrowly defeated by Republican Mike Harmon in the auditor's race.

Since leaving office, Edelen has worked as a venture capitalist, focused on a solar energy project in eastern Kentucky, and also launched the New Kentucky Project, which aims to develop progressive political candidates with Kentucky media personality Matt Jones.

-Michael Monks, editor & publisher