Miller dropping out of governor's race

The field of candidates vying for the state’s top job is getting smaller. Gubernatorial candidate Jonathan Miller is dropping out of the race with just two weeks until the primary and he’s throwing his support behind opponent Steve Beshear.

Miller had picked up a string of endorsements for his campaign that he will now hand over to Beshear, and the two appeared at a joint news conference this afternoon in a Frankfort, Ky., hotel to make the announcement.

Miller used the treasurer's post to be a vocal consumer advocate, and has testified before the Senate Banking Committee about financial literacy and the threat credit card debt poses to college students. Miller has warned that students were facing mounting college debt that would take them years to pay off.

As a candidate for governor, Miller said he had new ideas that will help the state and bolster citizens' confidence in state government. He called for universal health care and expanded prescription drug coverage for senior citizens, and like Beshear, Miller supported expanded gambling to help finance his plans.

Miller said he made the decision to drop out after consulting with his wife and his running mate, Jefferson County attorney, Irv Maze. He cited sagging poll numbers and dwindling campaign cash. Miller is now throwing his support behind Democratic rival Steve Beshear.

Miller’s withdrawal has other Democrats hoping to win over voters who had favored Miller. Jody Richards’ campaign said some of Miller’s supporters might now get behind his campaign.

Lexington attorney Gatewood Galbraith said Miller’s exit “was not unanticipated” and thinks he will pick up votes, too.

It’s too late to change the ballots across the Commonwealth so notices at polling places will inform voters Miller dropped out of the race.

The primary is two weeks from May 8, 2007, and the list of candidates includes on the Democratic ticket: Steve Henry, Steve Beshear, Gatewood Galbraith, Otis Hensley Jr., Jody Richards and Bruce Lunsford. Anne Northup and Billy Harper are challenging Governor Ernie Fletcher for the Republican nomination.

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