Kentucky's horse industry, which bet heavily on a Democratic win in Tuesday's special state Senate election, wasn't prepared for defeat and doesn't have a short-term plan to advance legislation that would allow slots at racetracks, industry leaders say.
"We didn't plan on losing, so we don't have a strategy other than we want to attempt to continue to have our voices heard," said Ric Waldman, a bloodstock consultant who is one of the directors of the issues group Keep Our Jobs in Kentucky Inc.
The horse industry group spent hundreds of thousand of dollars on advertising that opposed Republican Jimmy Higdon and supported Democrat Jodie Haydon. Haydon's election had been seen as critical to the horse industry's efforts to get casino-style gambling, but he lost by a wide margin.
On Wednesday, Senate Majority Leader Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, said the fate of expanded gambling is in the hands of Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear.
Stivers said the horse industry has spent a lot of money trying to change the political power structure in the Senate. After two very expensive elections, the Republicans remain in power by a 20-17 margin, with one independent who generally sides with Republicans.
"If they spent the $1.9 million that we've heard that they've spent, I feel that they were not very good at spending their money," Stivers said. "Maybe they are not in as bad a shape as they claim to be if they can spend basically $2 million on an election."
Read more at Kentucky.com