In a statement to Insider Louisville, the local businessman and developer Gill Holland hinted that he might sign up as Adam Edelen’s running mate if the former state auditor runs for governor, which most political observers expect the Democrat to soon announce.
Holland made the statement in a text message to Insider Thursday morning, after we asked about growing rumors that Edelen had asked him to run for lieutenant governor on a ticket with him next year.
“Well, Adam and I have been friends for years and we both share a commitment to moving Kentucky forward,” wrote Holland. “Right now I don’t think there’s a team in the race that has the vision to win in November. That could change very soon.”
As of Thursday, Attorney General Andy Beshear and House Minority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins were the only two Democrats to formally announce that they are running for governor next year.
Besides Edelen, other potential Democratic candidates rumored to be considering a run for governor are Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, state Rep. Attica Scott of Louisville, and Amy McGrath, the retired Marine fighter pilot who lost her bid to unseat Congressman Andy Barr last month.
Gov. Matt Bevin has stated that he will run for re-election, but has hinted that he may choose another running mate besides his current Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton. Democrats have pointed to Bevin’s low poll numbers as a sign that he is vulnerable, though Kentucky voters have continued to trend toward Republican candidates in recent years.
If the Edelen-Holland ticket comes to be, it would be Holland’s second attempt at public office, as in 2016 he ran for Louisville Metro Council in District 16. Holland lost by a close margin in that race, despite registered Republicans outnumbering Democrats in the district located in the northeastern portion of Jefferson County.
Holland — who described himself as a “nonpartisan businessman” just after announcing his run for council — has also been a large donor for Democratic candidates, as the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance database shows that he has contributed over $34,000 to candidates since 2007.
As a developer, Holland has spearheaded the dramatic redevelopment of Louisville’s East Market Street area — dubbed Nulu — and is now undergoing a similar ambitious effort in the Portland neighborhood just west of downtown. Holland has also founded successful film production and music label companies.
Edelen has not responded to inquiries asking if and when he will announce a run for governor next year, and his website now consists of only a splash page that reads “COMING SOON.”