Kentucky AG Daniel Cameron files to run for governor

PBS News Hour

Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) submitted paperwork Wednesday to run for governor in 2023, setting up a clash with Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear.

Cameron filed a statement of spending intent form to declare that any money he spends would be as a gubernatorial candidate. The filing marks the first step in what is anticipated to be a high-profile match-up between two heavyweights in a conservative state.

In a video, Cameron cast Beshear as out of step with where most Kentucky voters are, foreshadowing a likely line of attack in the red Bluegrass State by touching on the current debate over abortion.

“Andy Beshear is not uniting Kentucky. This governor does not reflect our values. He’s never going to change, so we have to change our government,” he said.

“Makenze and I believe Kentucky needs a governor who uses common sense. One bold enough to defend innocent life. A governor who understands that only faith can keep us strong. Team Kentucky needs a new coach, one who will build us up, not divide us,” he added, alongside his wife.

Cameron is the third candidate to join the GOP primary, following state Auditor Mike Harmon and Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles.

Cameron is expected to run a strong campaign given his high profile from his time as state attorney general.

He has faced criticism, however, over his handling of the high-profile case surrounding the police shooting death of Breonna Taylor in Louisville in March 2020.

Cameron also has strong ties to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, one of Kentucky’s most powerful Republicans, and could benefit should McConnell press his allies to coalesce behind Cameron.

Beshear has already announced he is running for reelection and enjoys a solid approval rating of nearly 60 percent despite serving in a Republican-leaning state.

Beshear, a former state attorney general himself, is anticipated to run on his economic record after using a surge in money from federal stimulus packages to make a massive education investment. Beshear has also gotten plaudits for attracting economic development projects to Kentucky and his handling of tornadoes.

“Daniel Cameron’s announcement today ramps up what is set to be a crowded and chaotic Republican primary, while also confirming he’s been putting his political ambitions ahead of doing his taxpayer-funded job to keep Kentucky safe. But what else would you expect from Mitch McConnell’s number one crony?” Democratic Governors Association spokesman Sam Newton said in a statement.

“In contrast, when Andy Beshear was the state’s top prosecutor he worked night-and-day to lock up record numbers of child predators and abusers, take on human traffickers, tackle the opioid epidemic and protect seniors. He’s brought that same strong leadership to the governorship, from guiding the state through tough times to landing historic economic developments, lowering the cost of prescription drugs and increasing pay for state troopers,” he added.

Tags Andy Beshear Andy Beshear Daniel Cameron Daniel Cameron Kentucky Kentucky governor's race
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