Daniel Mongiardo

Daniel Mongiardo
54th Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky
In office
December 11, 2007  December 13, 2011
Governor Steve Beshear
Preceded by Steve Pence
Succeeded by Jerry Abramson
Member of the Kentucky Senate
from the 30th district
In office
January 3, 2001  December 11, 2007
Preceded by Glenn Freeman
Succeeded by Brandon Smith
Personal details
Born (1960-07-04) July 4, 1960
Hazard, Kentucky, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Allison Patrick
Alma mater Transylvania University
University of Kentucky
Religion Roman Catholicism

Frank Daniel Mongiardo[1] (born July 4, 1960) is an American physician and politician from Kentucky. Mongiardo is a Democrat and was the 54th Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky from 2007 until 2011. He was a member of the Kentucky State Senate from 2001 to 2007. He also ran for the U.S. Senate in 2004, narrowly losing in the general election to Jim Bunning and again in 2010, losing in the primary election to Jack Conway.

Personal life and career

Mongiardo was born to Italian immigrants in Hazard, Kentucky.[2] His father Jimmy owns a whiskey store and coin laundry and his mother Katherine died in 1988 of colon cancer.[3] Mongiardo attended Transylvania University and received his medical degree at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine in 1986.[1] From 1986 to 2000, Mongiardo worked as an ear, nose and throat surgeon, performing his residency in Lexington.[3][4] Mongiardo helped open a free health clinic and became chief of staff at the Hazard Appalachian Hospital.[3] He entered politics in 2000 and was elected to the state senate, after defeating incumbent Glenn Freeman in an expensive and bitter Democratic primary with 49.1 percent of the vote and then winning the general election with 70 percent of the vote.[3][5][6][7]

Mongiardo was reelected to a redrawn district in 2002 that covers Bell, Harlan, Leslie and Perry counties with 65.6 percent of the vote.[4][8][9] In this campaign Mongiardo argued his opponent Johnnie L. Turner had used images of Mohamed Atta in a television advertisement to compare Atta to him.[10] In the Kentucky Senate Mongiardo worked to bring water projects to his district, pressed for legislation to establish an electronic medical network, and voted against a constitutional amendment that would allow the legislature to limit the payment of punitive damages in medical malpractice cases.[3] Mongiardo continued his private practice and married Allison Patrick in Covington, Kentucky in 2008.[11][12] Their first child, Kathryn, was born on December 22, 2009.[13] and second child, Cannon, was born on September 28, 2011.

2004 U.S. Senate race

Mongiardo ran in the 2004 U.S. Senate election to unseat incumbent first-term Senator Jim Bunning, a former Major League Baseball player. He won the primary election with 64.9 percent of the vote and made health care his top campaign priority.[4][14] Although early polls showed Mongiardo at a significant disadvantage against Bunning, who had more name recognition and campaign funds,[15] Mongiardo was able to make large gains on account of several missteps committed by Bunning and other Kentucky Republicans,[4] including Bunning's admission not to have read newspapers articles on the Iraq war and claims made against Mongiardo regarding his staff's violence against Bunning's wife,[4] his sexual preference,[16] and his physical likeness to Saddam Hussein's sons, for the last of which Bunning later apologized.[4] Mongiardo responded with statements about his co-sponsorship of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in Kentucky and his intent to vote in favor of a Federal Marriage Amendment, and he argued that Bunning was removed from the interests of families.[15][16] Mongiardo gained support from national Democratic organizations, but lost the bitterly contested election 49.3 percent to 50.7 percent.[15][17] Mongiardo was ahead with as much as 80 percent of the returns in. However, the western portion of the state broke strongly for Bunning, providing the ultimate margin of victory.

Lieutenant governor

Lt. Gov. Mongiardo greets media while campaigning for Democratic candidates in September 2008.

Former Kentucky Lieutenant Governor Steve Beshear chose Mongiardo as his running mate for the 2007 gubernatorial election in Kentucky; they won the Democratic primary election on May 22, 2007 with 41 percent of the vote against several tickets, including Bruce Lunsford and Greg Stumbo, and Steve Henry and Renee True,[18] and with enough votes to avoid a June runoff.[19] Beshear-Mongiardo were elected over incumbent Republican Governor Ernie Fletcher on November 6, 2007, winning with 58.7 percent of the state vote.[20] Mongiardo did not risk losing his seat in the state senate because Kentucky holds its constitutional officer elections in odd years.

In September 2008, Mongiardo claimed that some rural voters would not support Barack Obama because of unfamiliarity with Obama, ignorance or race.[21] Mongiardo had endorsed Obama, who had supported him in the 2004 U.S. Senate election.[22] Republican Kentucky State Senate President David L. Williams demanded Mongiardo apologize.[23] Mongiardo argued that if Williams suggested racism was not an issue, he was "out of touch."[23]

2010 U.S. Senate race

In January 2009, Mongiardo announced that he would be running for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by incumbent Jim Bunning.[24] Mongiardo called for Bunning to withdraw from reelection, questioning his ability to represent the state because of controversial statements made about the health of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Bunning's reportedly strained relationship with other Republican senators.[25] Bunning later announced that he would not run in 2010.[26] Mongiardo was narrowly defeated in the Democratic Primary by the Attorney General of Kentucky Jack Conway.[27]

Under a bill changing the selection process of candidates for Lieutenant Governor, which was proposed to the Kentucky House of Representatives, Mongiardo could seek reelection as Lieutenant Governor even if he lost the Democratic primary to the U.S. Senate in 2010.[28] Governor Steve Beshear, however, privately indicated his desire to assemble his 2011 reelection team prior to the conclusion of the 2010 election cycle.[29] On July 19, 2009, Beshear named Louisville mayor Jerry Abramson as his running mate in for reelection in 2011.[30]

On January 20, 2009 Mongiardo appeared on the Tonight Show, where he lost an inaugural trivia contest to Hooters girls.[31]


  1. 1 2 "Lieutenant Governor Frank Daniel Mongiardo - Biography". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 2009-01-24.
  2. Hensley, Steve (2008-05-01). "Interview With Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo's Father, Jimmy Mongiardo". WYMT-TV. Archived from the original on September 20, 2010. Retrieved 2009-01-27.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Loftus, Tom (2004-10-18). "Failings of health care have spurred Mongiardo". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved 2009-03-19.
  4. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Bunning almost watches lead disappear". CNN. 2004-11-04. Retrieved 2009-01-27.
  5. Chellgren, Mark R. (2000-05-19). "Kentucky primary a snoozer in these parts". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Associated Press. Retrieved 2009-03-19.
  6. "Report of "official" election night tally results". Kentucky State Board of Elections. 2000-06-22. Archived from the original on November 27, 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-06.
  7. "Report of "official" election night tally results". Kentucky State Board of Elections. 2000-11-27. Archived from the original on November 27, 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-06.
  8. "Senator Brandon Smith". Kentucky General Assembly. Retrieved 2009-03-06.
  9. "Report of "official" election night tally results". Kentucky State Board of Elections. 2002-12-04. Archived from the original on November 27, 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-06.
  10. "Mongiardo Campaign Not Satisfied With Bunning Apology". WAVE (TV). Associated Press. 2004-04-02. Retrieved 2009-03-07.
  11. Glasser, Paul (2007-11-08). "Beshear vows no bloodbath". The State Journal. Retrieved 2009-01-30.
  12. "Lieutenant Governor Daniel Mongiardo Weds Fiancée Allie Patrick". WYMT-TV. 2009-06-21. Retrieved 2009-01-27.
  13. "Report of "official" election night tally results". Kentucky State Board of Elections. 2004-06-09. Archived from the original on November 27, 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-06.
  14. 1 2 3 "Bunning wins Senate race after close, bitter race". USA Today. Associated Press. 2004-11-02. Retrieved 2009-01-27.
  15. 1 2 Kaplan, Dina (2004-10-28). "Mongiardo Responds To 'Limp Wrist' Comment". WAVE (TV). Retrieved 2009-03-06.
  16. "Report of "official" election night tally results". Kentucky State Board of Elections. 2004-11-24. Archived from the original on March 4, 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-27.
  17. "Report of "official" election night tally results". Kentucky State Board of Elections. 2007-06-13. Archived from the original on November 27, 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-31.
  18. Wheaton, Sarah (2007-05-23). "That Other Kentucky Horserace". The New York Times. Retrieved 2009-03-19.
  19. "Report of "official" election night tally results". Kentucky State Board of Elections. 2007-11-27. Archived from the original on November 27, 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-31.
  20. Alessi, Ryan (2008-09-29). "Obama leads in Ky. donations". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved 2009-03-06.
  21. Pollard, Trey (2008-08-28). "Mongiardo says early Obama endorsement got him 'huge amount' of flack". PolitickerKY.com. Retrieved 2009-03-06.
  22. 1 2 Burcham, Kimberly (2008-10-01). "Kentucky Senate President Demands Apology". WHAS-TV. Archived from the original on December 25, 2008. Retrieved 2009-01-27.
  23. "Mongiardo Enters U.S. Senate Race in Kentucky". WSAZ-TV. Associated Press. 2009-01-26. Retrieved 2009-01-31.
  24. Alford, Roger (2009-02-25). "Mongiardo: Bunning should not run for re-election". USA Today. Associated Press. Archived from the original on August 28, 2014. Retrieved 2009-02-26.
  25. Pershing, Ben; Cillizza, Chris (2009-07-28). "Bunning Will Not Seek Third Term". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-08-14.
  26. Archived May 21, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  27. Gerth, Joseph (2009-03-03). "Bill would change running mate deadline". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved 2009-03-06.
  28. "Comment on Kentucky". KET. 2009-06-05.
  29. Ellis, Ronnie (2009-07-19). "Abramson to join Beshear ticket for 2011 re-election » Local News » Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)". Daily Independent. Retrieved 2010-09-04.
  30. Daniel Mongiardo on the Tonight Show
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Daniel Mongiardo.
Kentucky Senate
Preceded by
Glenn Freeman
Member of the Kentucky Senate
from the 30th district

Succeeded by
Brandon Smith
Party political offices
Preceded by
Scotty Baesler
Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Kentucky
(Class 3)

Succeeded by
Jack Conway
Preceded by
Charlie Owen
Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky
Succeeded by
Jerry Abramson
Political offices
Preceded by
Steve Pence
Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky
Succeeded by
Jerry Abramson
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