|Name||Josephine E. "Peppy" Martin|
, Kentucky , United States
Nov 11, 2007 12:37am
|Info||Peppy Martin is a political figure in Kentucky. She was the Republican nominee for Governor of Kentucky in 1999. |
Peppy Martin served as an intern for United States Senator Thruston B. Morton and worked in the office of Governor Louie B. Nunn in 1971. She then went into a career in public relations, eventually running her own public relations business in Hart County, Kentucky.
Martin legally changed her name to "Peppy" from her given name of Josephine Ellen when she unsuccessfully ran for a seat in the Kentucky General Assembly in the 1970s.
In 1999, Martin ran for Governor of Kentucky against Paul E. Patton, the Democratic incumbent who due to a change in the Kentucky Constitution was the state's first governor who could run for a second consecutive term. Martin's running mate was Wanda Cornelius of Taylor County, Kentucky.
Martin's gubernatorial campaign was marked by over the top remarks and name-calling, including her assertion in a televised debate that 80% of the state's elected sheriffs and state police officers were involved in drug trafficking. Martin later said the basis for that accusation was "street talk".
In August 1999 during a public speech at a large statewide political gathering at Fancy Farm, Kentucky, Martin called United States Senator Mitch McConnell's marriage to Chinese-American Elaine Chao his "Chinese connection". McConnell, the ranking Kentucky Republican, was angered by Martin's comment, left the state in disgust and refused to support Martin in any way or even acknowledge Martin's candidacy.
Martin's campaign platform included repealing or altering the 1996 reforms to the state's workers' compensation laws that Patton had championed; enacting new laws concerning health insurance; creating a health insurance pool that she claimed would allow every Kentuckian to buy a standard policy for between $130 and $150 per month; and cutting taxes, including elimination of the state property tax on automobiles.
Republican United States Senator Jim Bunning publicly endorsed Martin and contributed $1,000 to her campaign, but many other high profile Kentucky Republicans avoided any active involvement with or ringing endorsement of her campaign. Martin caused controversy by mailing campaign material that listed various people who wanted no part of her campaign or candidacy as holding positions in her campaign. Martin attributed this to letters she sent to some of these people which read in part "I have taken the liberty of having your name on a list of prominent Kentuckians whose leadership means something to everybody and whose inclusion here means a great deal to me. Regrets only." These mailings also included advertising pieces encouraging people to hire Martin's public relations firm.
On election night Martin wore a 1950s style formal dress and was defeated by Patton. In very low turnout, Patton won 352,099 votes (60.6%) to Martin's 128,788 (22.2%); Reform Party nominee Gatewood Galbraith won 88,930 votes (15.3%) and a Natural Law party nominee won 6,934 votes (1.2%). Patton won 114 of Kentucky's 120 counties; the only counties Martin carried (Clay, Harlan, Jackson (by 1 vote), Leslie, Letcher, Martin, and Perry) were coal-mining counties in the eastern part of the state where voters were livid at Patton over the workers compensation reforms that ended what had been a costly and easily-abused program. Those counties had very high numbers of former coal miners and their families living on disability due black lung claims under the old workers compensation program.
In 1996 Martin began mounting an abortive attempt to win the presidential nomination of the Reform Party, launching a website styled www.peppy4prez.com.
In 2003 Martin unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for the statewide office of Auditor of Public Accounts.