kernel: The last hurrah for perennial candidate Gatewood Galbraith?

Gatewood for Governor - Lexington, Ky.
Gatewood Signage at Short & Mill - Lexington, Ky.
A discussion of Kentucky's recent political history would be incomplete without discussion of perennial candidate Gatewood Galbraith. Having recently announced that this year's gubernatorial race is his last run for public office, I felt it fitting to profile Gatewood during this — his final race.

His candidacies are legendary. Many Kentuckians – especially those in Lexington – remember Gatewood standing at a corner in his ubiquitous hat, sportcoat, and tie waving to the honks, cheers, and sometimes jeers of his fellow citizenry. If you haven't witnessed Gatewood's friendly smile, it most likely will be somewhere near Commonwealth Stadium on Saturday before the UK-Ole Miss game.

A "People's candidate," Galbraith has long believed that a government which governs best, governs least. Applying this principle over both social and fiscal issues, Gatewood famously said during his 1995 bid for governor that the government needs to stay out of "our bedrooms, our bloodstreams, our bladders, our brains, our businesses and our back-pockets." His views are even more fully expressed in his book, The Last Free Man in America.

I remember the 1995 race because of the long delay caused during the Fourth of July parade - themed "United Nations" - which Gatewood interrupted and was subsequently arrested. Also somewhat controversial is his pro-legalization of marijuana stance which has caused many to ignore his overall platform.

Yet a Gatewood candidacy is second only to Fancy Farm in terms of Kentucky political traditions. This is his fifth bid for Governor (1991, 1995, 1999, 2007 and 2011). He has also run for attorney general, agriculture commissioner and twice for Congress. He admits to being a perennial candidate by saying that "Kentucky has perennial problems."

Whatever happens in next week's election, I - for one - will be sad to see the end of candidate Gatewood Galbraith.