Beshear gets second term; GOP sweeps state offices

November 08, 2023

FRANKFORT (KT) – Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear won reelection as Kentucky’s Chief Executive on Tuesday, defeating Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron by a wider margin than when he stopped Matt Bevin’s quest for a second term in 2019.

The win makes him only the third governor in Kentucky history to win two consecutive terms. The others were Paul Patton, who was in office 1995-2003, and his father, Steve Beshear, who served from 2007 to 2015.

“Tonight, Kentucky made a choice,” Beshear said during his victory speech, “A choice not to move to the right or to the left, but to move forward for every single family. A choice to reject Team R or Team D, and to state clearly that we are one Team Kentucky.”

Beshear carried Madison County and received 5,962 votes, compared to 3,498 for Cameron.

He said it was a victory that sends a loud and clear message: “A message that candidates should run for something, and not against someone. That a candidate should show vision, and not sew division. And a clear statement that anger politics should end right here and right now.”

In addition to the best two years for economic development, Beshear touted some of his accomplishments that will carry over to the next four years. “We’re building the Brent Spence companion bridge without tolls, we’re four-laning the entire Mountain Parkway, and we’re pushing I-69 forward so fast that Indiana is scrambling to catch up.”

For the next four years, Beshear said, “We have an opportunity to come further together. This is our chance to build that Commonwealth we have always dreamed of. To stop the fighting, to push away the division, to recognize that we have more that unites us, than can ever pull us apart; and that the opportunity, right in front of us, is more promising than at any time in our lifetimes.”

Beshear had 53% of the votes when Cameron conceded at 9:15 p.m.

During his concession speech, after thanking his supporters and those who worked on his campaign, Cameron said, “As I called the Governor to congratulate him, I know from his perspective, and all of our perspectives, we all want the same thing for our future generations. A better commonwealth, one which can ultimately be a shining city on a hill, a model and example for the rest of the nation to follow.

“I ask that you pray for Governor Beshear and his team and for all of the commonwealth because, at the end of the day, win, lose or draw, what ultimately matters is that we know that Christ is on the throne.”

Just like four years ago, there was a Republican sweep of the down-ticket races in the results of the Kentucky Constitutional offices, while Democrats were able to hold onto a vacant House seat in Fayette County during Tuesday’s general election.

Michael Adams easily won reelection to a second term as Secretary of State. His Democratic opponent, Charles “Buddy” Wheatley, was a former state representative who was also a retired Covington Fire Chief.

One-time U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky, Russell Coleman, also cruised to victory in the Attorney General’s race, where he will succeed Daniel Cameron, who gave up the seat to run for governor. It was an all-Jefferson County race, as his opponent, Pamela Stevenson is a House member from Louisville.

In the race for Auditor of Public Accounts, Allison Ball, who is wrapping up her second term as State Treasurer, defeated Kimberley Reeder, a Rowan County native who is a tax attorney now living in Frankfort. Ball succeeds Mike Harmon who was term-limited and lost in the May gubernatorial primary to Cameron.

Mark Metcalf, currently the Garrard County Attorney, won the race to succeed Ball as State Treasurer. He defeated Michael Bowman of Louisville, who also lost the 2019 treasurer’s race to Ball, and who has a banking and financial background.

Jonathan Shell, a former House Majority Leader, won the race for Commissioner of Agriculture, where he will succeed Ryan Quarles, who was term-limited and also lost to Cameron in the May primary.

The only other Democratic win, other than Beshear, was a special election in the 93rd State House District, where Democrat Adrielle Camuel defeated Republican Kyle Whelan.

phil malicote