Article found in: Culture
Created on January 4, 2012
By Greg Rodgers
When I first met Gatewood Galbrath, he was standing at Thursday Night Live in full running attire, holding a massive chili-cheese hot dog. When I asked him if that was dinner, he responded with a sly grin:
“After jogging four miles to get here, it’s the best hot dog I’ve ever had.”
That was Gatewood in a nutshell.
Rarely seen without a grin and a trusty hat, Gatewood Galbraith is a Kentucky legend. I can remember seeing him standing in high-traffic areas, waving at passing cars with a smile; they always honked their approval at his unorthodox campaigning techniques. Gatewood never had the deep pockets that his political rivals enjoyed, but he certainly knew how to win a crowd over the old fashioned way.
Campaigning as an independent, Gatewood never won any of the offices he sought; and there were a few: Commissioner of Agriculture, Attorney General, U.S. Representative, and even Governor. The defeats never stopped Mr. Galbraith from turning up at social events later, asking for signatures to get back on the ballot.
Gatewood Galbraith earned his quirky reputation partly due to advocating the legalization of marijuana for medicinal reasons; he also hoped to restore hemp as a major industry in Kentucky, just as it once was.
Gatewood’s famous stance — which didn’t exactly help him with support from peers — was that “the government has no business in our bedroom, bladder, or bloodstream.”
Many people are familiar with Gatewood’s penchant for political upheaval, but what most don’t realize is that his unusual political agenda was oriented solely to take care of Kentucky’s own.
Some things you may or may not know about Gatewood Galbraith:
- He was a strong supporter of producing and buying produce locally.
- He supported local businesses — and especially Kentucky farmers — wholeheartedly.
- He urged the government to reign in tuition increases and provide grants to all students who graduate high school.
- He regularly references “Greedy corporations” in his book.
On the cover of Gatewood’s book, The Last Free Man in America, he sports a maniacal grin, an M60 machine gun, and enough belts of ammo to shake things up a bit. In the book, he tells of how America has shifted from an agricultural nation into a synthetic, consuming society where we rely too heavily on greedy corporations.
Although his passion was politics, Gatewood was basically an anti-politician. Whether he received your vote or not, Gatewood was a living legend with local interests in mind; his loss will be felt here in Kentucky.
Gatewood passed away in his sleep on Jan 4, 2012. For more information, see the official Gatewood website.