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Republican Will T. Scott Opens Bid for Kentucky Governor By Backing Expanded Gambling

Republican gubernatorial hopeful Will T. Scott has selected former sheriff Rodney Coffey as his running mate and has endorsed expanding gambling as a way to raise money to meet Kentucky's public pension obligations.

Scott introduced the former Menifee County sheriff as his running mate at a campaign kickoff Tuesday in Louisville.

The ticket matches two eastern Kentuckians, but Scott said his ideas will appeal to voters statewide.

Scott, a Pike County native, endorsed a constitutional amendment legalizing casino-style gambling. He said most of the money should be earmarked to pay down the state's unfunded pension liabilities.

The Republican candidates for the May gubernatorial primary include Agriculture Commissioner James Comer and former Louisville Metro Councilman Hal Heiner. The candidates so far seeking the Democratic nomination are Attorney General Jack Conway and former congressional candidate Geoff Young.

Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear made expanded gambling a centerpiece of his campaigns but has been unable to get gambling legislation through the General Assembly.

Scott also made a pitch for charter schools in his announcement.