Libertarian candidate enters Kentucky governor’s race


Libertarian Party of Kentucky

Billy Kobin, Louisville Courier Journal Published 2:12 p.m. ET May 14, 2019 | Updated 2:48 p.m. ET May 14, 2019

After a federal judge temporarily blocked a new section of a state law related to filing deadlines, a Libertarian Party candidate has officially joined the 2019 race to become Kentucky’s next governor.

John Hicks officially became a candidate Monday, according to the Kentucky Secretary of State’s office.

Hicks is a Louisville native and information technology consultant who made a bid to represent the 43rd District in the Kentucky House of Representatives in November. He lost the race to Democrat Charles Booker.

Hicks, 72, is also a U.S. Army veteran who served in Vietnam, and he previously taught in Jefferson County Public Schools and published a community newspaper in Fern Creek.

The Libertarian candidate’s running mate is Ann Cormican, a native of Paris, Kentucky, who works at the Toyota Kentucky manufacturing facility in Georgetown. 

Cormican also made an unsuccessful bid last November to represent the 72nd District in the Kentucky House of Representatives.

The pair almost failed to make it on the statewide ballot in Kentucky’s gubernatorial race.

State legislators approved a measure, House Bill 114, in March that retroactively moved up the filing deadline for third-party and independent candidates from April 1 to January 11.

More: Kentucky lawmakers vote to limit the secretary of state’s power

Hicks said he had filed his candidacy before April 1 but after the January deadline.

The Libertarian Party of Kentucky took the matter to federal court, arguing the measure denied its candidates access to the statewide ballot in 2019.

On May 9, a U.S. District Court judge in Covington agreed and temporarily blocked the section of the state law related to filing deadlines.

Fixing a “broken electoral system” and not “controlling the private life” of Kentuckians are among the Libertarian ticket’s priorities, Hicks told the Courier Journal.

An instant runoff system for elections is one electoral reform that Hicks said could benefit Kentucky.

“I think we’re going to be the moderate party,” Hicks said. “We’re certainly in a position where we can work with members of both major parties in the Legislature.”

Ann Cormican

Ann Cormican (Photo: Provided by John Hicks)

Hicks and Cormican already won the Libertarian Party’s state primary back in March, meaning they will appear on ballots in November. (The Libertarian Party is not included in the May 21 primary involving Republican and Democratic candidates.)

Hicks said he is agrees with many of Gov. Matt Bevin’s policies but is “skeptical” of the incumbent’s policies of “subsidizing private industry” and trying to intervene in “moral matters.”

And Bevin’s criticism of those he disagrees with also concerns Hicks.

“A lot of Gov. Bevin’s policies have been right on,” Hicks said. “But his rhetoric has been terrible.”

Reach Billy Kobin at bkobin@courierjournal.com or 502-582-7030. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: courier-journal.com/subscribe.

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