- Associated Press - Saturday, October 31, 2015

MOUNT STERLING, Ky. (AP) - Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jack Conway pledged Saturday to maintain access to health insurance and bolster job training on the final weekend of campaigning before Kentucky’s election. He then zeroed in on his Republican opponent, raising doubts about Matt Bevin’s temperament for the job.

Conway, the state’s two-term attorney general, told about 60 supporters at a Mount Sterling restaurant that he’s the one with the “proper temperament” to be the state’s chief executive.

Afterward, Conway told reporters that Bevin, a business executive, has “some temperament issues” that would make it difficult for him to work with lawmakers from both political parties to shape state policy.

“In working in Frankfort these days, you have to reach across the aisle, you have to negotiate,” Conway said. “You’re not going to get everything you want. And I understand that. I think these issues of temperament would be problematic if he (Bevin) were to become governor.”

Conway pointed to Bevin’s testy relationship with some in the media. Democrats also have pointed to Bevin’s irritation when asked about his refusal to release his tax returns, and his decision to stop by state Democratic headquarters to complain about a highly visible sign that said Bevin couldn’t be trusted.

In response, Bevin spokeswoman Jessica Ditto questioned whether Conway has the right values to be governor. “He is wrong on all of the fiscal and social principles that matter to Kentuckians,” she said.

As the emphasis turns to get-out-the-vote efforts for Tuesday’s election, both candidates exuded confidence as they reached out to voters at multiple rallies Saturday.

Conway campaigned Saturday in eastern and central Kentucky, while Bevin focused on northern Kentucky - a GOP stronghold crucial to his efforts to win the governorship.

They tended to fatherly duties Saturday evening, planning to go trick-or-treating with their children.

They are vying to succeed two-term Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear, who couldn’t seek another term due to term limits. Independent candidate Drew Curtis is also running for governor.

The gubernatorial candidates top the ballot for a full slate of statewide offices.

Conway stuck to his main campaign themes Saturday, promising to improve broadband access and “re-engineer workforce development” to supply employers with more skilled workers.

He vowed to emphasize early-childhood education to boost kindergarten readiness.

Conway also promised to continue Beshear’s initiatives associated with President Barack Obama’s health-care law. Conway touted the state-run health exchange where qualified individuals can purchase health insurance with the help of a federal discount.

“We’ve done that the Kentucky way,” Conway said. “We’ve done it the right way.”

Beshear also used Obama’s signature law to expand Medicaid coverage in the state.

Kentucky’s uninsured rate has dropped from 20.4 percent in 2013 to less than 10 percent last year. But Obama is highly unpopular in Kentucky, making the health-care law a volatile issue.

While Conway was chatting with voters, one woman asked him what he would do to rejuvenate eastern Kentucky. Conway mentioned his support for expanding broadband and improving education and roads, she said.

“We’ll just have to wait and see if anything happens,” said Jane Reed, a Floyd County native now living in Morehead. “I want to know that somebody is going to recognize eastern Kentucky.”

She said small Appalachian towns “are drying up” and need help. She said the region’s decline is due to Obama’s environmental rules that curtailed coal production.

Meanwhile, Bevin predicted Saturday that his conservative message will resonate with voters on Election Day. He also said he would outlast a barrage of Democratic attack ads against him.

“All of their negative ads are designed to suppress votes and we can counter that with our get-out-the-vote efforts,” Bevin said. “We’ve campaigned on the issues and taken the high road and that’s what’s resonating with people.”

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