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Ky. Governor, Amid Scandal, to Curb Participation in Politics

September 25, 2002|From Associated Press

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Gov. Paul E. Patton, who planned to run for the Senate in 2004, said Tuesday he will leave politics for the "foreseeable future," four days after admitting to an inappropriate relationship with a woman suing him for sexual harassment.

"I do not anticipate, in the foreseeable future, any involvement in the political process, including the U.S. Senate race," said Patton, who is married. "I must now focus on rebuilding my private life."

Patton, 65, a Democrat, is in his second term and cannot run for reelection.

He has planned to challenge Republican Sen. Jim Bunning in 2004 and refused Tuesday to rule out that campaign.

Patton also has been raising money and campaigning for legislative candidates and Democratic Senate candidate Lois Combs Weinberg this year.

He said Tuesday he would not resign as chairman of the National Governors Assn.

Nursing home owner Tina Conner has alleged that she had a two-year affair with Patton, during which he used his influence to assist her businesses. According to her lawsuit, when she broke off the affair, Patton turned regulators loose on the nursing home, which now is in bankruptcy.

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