Kentucky attorney general files case for 2023 gubernatorial race
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Republican Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron filed paperwork Wednesday to enter the state’s 2023 gubernatorial race, hoping to push through his resistance to restrictions on Democratic Governor Andy Beshear’s coronavirus in the governor’s office.
Cameron, considered a rising GOP star, made history in 2019 as the first African American to serve as state attorney general. Now he is trying to chart another course in his bid for governor.
Last year, the attorney general led the legal fight against pandemic-related restrictions imposed by Beshear in an attempt to stem the spread of the virus. Cameron won the case in the Kentucky Supreme Court, which paved the way for new laws enacted by the GOP-led state legislature to limit the governor’s emergency powers. The governor says his actions have saved lives.
During his tenure as attorney general, Cameron also faced national scrutiny for his handling of an investigation into the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor in 2020. Her death and the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis sparked nationwide racial justice protests.
Cameron has publicly stated that the decision not to charge officers in Taylor’s death is “ultimately” in the hands of the grand jury. But three jurors on the panel later said Cameron’s team limited its scope and misled them about what charges they were allowed to consider.
Cameron has close ties to the most powerful Republican in the Bluegrass state – US Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell – having previously served as the senator’s legal adviser.
The attorney general flagged his gubernatorial bid in documents filed Wednesday — a statement of intent to spend form with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance, Cameron was not immediately available for comment Wednesday at his office. State.
Cameron walks into what could become a crowded field of Republicans racing to unseat Beshear in next year’s top race. Already in the governor’s race on the GOP side are state agriculture commissioner Ryan Quarles, state auditor Mike Harmon and retired attorney Eric Deters. Several other Republicans are considering gubernatorial bids.
A recent poll shows Beshear remains popular in Republican-leaning Kentucky. He touts his handling of Kentucky’s economy, which includes landing the state’s two largest economic development projects — both battery projects. Beshear also received wide acclaim for overseeing the state’s response to the devastating tornadoes that tore through parts of western Kentucky late last year.