- Associated Press - Thursday, April 30, 2015

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Republican candidate for governor Hal Heiner has apologized to fellow candidate James Comer after emails surfaced in a Lexington newspaper linking a Heiner campaign associate with a blogger who has accused Comer of committing a crime while in college.

In a written statement Wednesday, Heiner personally apologized to Comer but did not admit direct involvement.

“These rumors are the worst type of politics. It’s undignified and un-Christian and not the type of campaign I am running,” Heiner said. “I personally apologize to Jamie Comer if anyone associated with my campaign is involved.”

In a news release, Comer said he is “disappointed with Hal Heiner and (running mate) KC Crosbie” but added his campaign is focused on “winning the Primary, uniting the Republican Party, and beating Jack Conway in November.” Conway is the likely Democratic nominee.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reported Wednesday that blogger Michael Adams had traded emails with Scott Crosbie, the husband of Heiner’s running mate. Adams has a Facebook page and a website devoted to unproven claims that Comer committed a crime while a student at Western Kentucky University.

Comer did not address Adams’ allegations in his news release, but denied the accusations in an interview with the Herald Leader.

In one email, Adams tells Scott Crosbie that he “got your message” and encouraged the Heiner campaign to “never hesitate to criticize my activity, if doing so is beneficial to the campaign.”

Adams says in the email that he supports Heiner and Crosbie, but suggests that “mischaracterizing” how strongly he supports it might help “to prevent people from being deceived into thinking the campaign is somehow responsible for my actions.”

When reached by The Associated Press, Adams declined to comment.

Comer, the state agriculture commissioner, and Heiner, a former Louisville Metro councilman, are just two of the four Republican candidates in the May 19 primary. Louisville businessman Matt Bevin and former Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Will T. Scott are also running.

All four candidates are scheduled to debate May 11 on the Kentucky Tonight, the statewide program on Kentucky Educational Television.

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