Fletcher to Run Again Despite Investigation

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Gov. Ernie Fletcher (search) said Monday he still plans to seek re-election in 2007 despite an investigation of hiring practices in his administration and his loss of a leadership decision in his own party.

Fletcher said last week that GOP state party chairman Darrell Brock (search) should resign. That came at the same time he fired nine members of his administration for their role in his administration's personnel problems.

Party leaders met in private for about 30 minutes Saturday and did not ask Brock to leave.

Fletcher said at a news conference Monday that he's actively planning to run for a second term and the decision about Brock does not mean he's lost the support of the party.

"I had a very successful fundraiser here in Louisville. We raised about $150,000," Fletcher said.

Fletcher said Monday that he's not bothered by the GOP's decision to keep Brock.

"I don't take it personally," Fletcher said.

Jessica Ditto, a state GOP spokeswoman, wouldn't comment on Fletcher's remarks and Brock did not return a call.

Attorney General Greg Stumbo (search) has been investigating Fletcher's administration for alleged violations of the state's Merit System personnel hiring laws.

Nine current or former members of Fletcher's staff were charged with misdemeanors stemming from the investigation, and the governor has pardoned them, along with anyone else who might be charge -- except for himself. Four of the people Fletcher fired were among those pardoned.

Fletcher acknowledged that the controversies have weakened him politically, but said he intends to continue governing.

"I see that it's going to be more challenging, but I do believe we can move forward," he said.