FRANKFORT, Ky. (Legal Newsline) - Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway won a close Democratic primary Tuesday and will face Rand Paul in the race for a U.S. Senate seat.

Conway survived a challenge from Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo, leading by almost 8,000 votes with nearly all precincts reporting, according to The Associated Press. Rand Paul is the son of Ron Paul, a Congressman from Texas.

Conway trailed in most polls leading to the primary election and even faced an ethics complaint filed by Mongiardo.

Mongiardo claimed Conway has "violated the public trust" by accepting more than $70,000 in campaign contributions from utility companies, their executives and lobbyists while approving rate hikes.

"Attorney General Conway's duty is to represent rate payers -- not big utility companies, Mongiardo said.

"It is a clear conflict of interest for Attorney General Conway, who is supposed to negotiate rate increases on behalf of Kentucky rate payers, to have accepted over $70,000 in campaign contributions from utility companies he is negotiating with."

Mongiardo says Conway benefitted from a rate increase requested by Atmos Energy. Atmos is a business partner of Kinder Morgan, in which Conway has invested millions of dollars, Mongiardo alleges.

Mongiardo's complaint also says Conway approved a $22 million rate increase for Louisville Gas & Electric then accepted thousands of dollars in contributions from the company's executives and its registered lobbyists.

Paul easily defeated challenger Trey Grayson.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at

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