Watching a stiff normal Republican win the gubernatorial election of ‘21 in Virginia was fun. Lincoln Project pulled a horrible fake Charlottesville stunt, a slimy Clinton acolyte shot his mouth off and school curriculum came to the fore. It was weird and fun to witness. Not much at stake for non-Virginians. Americans can have fun with an even lesser important gubernatorial election this year in Kentucky.
Say hello to Daniel Cameron. He is the Attorney General of Kentucky and the leading candidate for the GOP nomination in the governor’s race. He would face Gov. Andy Beshear. Beshear enjoys solid approval ratings, and the state legislature is so Republican that it can override his vetoes. It just did in order to ban underage genital mutilation.
Cameron was strong on covid restrictions in his state despite losing in the courts. This was a Midwest story as Kentucky unfortunately had a Democrat governor when covid hit. A problem is that the covid restrictions are further in the rearview mirror now. What is his platform? He is anti-ESG, which is great. Will he go after education curriculum and the public university system like we are seeing elsewhere? He is uniquely positioned to tear down CRT and DEI in schools that other Republicans will not enjoy.
What is that unique position? Cameron is a black Republican. It would be hard to smear him as the media does other Republicans who curtail DEI and CRT programs. We all know though that the media is going to be merciless towards Cameron for the sin of being a black Republican. We will likely see the most disgusting social media posts about him by the left.
He faces an uphill battle. Gov. Beshear is a popular governor enjoying approval ratings above 60% continuously for the last couple years. He is a Democrat but has been pro-growth and business friendly, which the independents and even Republican voters like. Cameron has to overcome an incumbent and even in a GOP friendly state, it will be difficult.
Gov. Beshear’s razor thin win in ‘19 was due to Gov. Matt Bevin going after Louisville, unions and teachers hard. Louisville has an old yet deep union force, which is unusual for the South. Bevin won a surprise victory with big majorities in the legislature and flexed his muscles. He may have done too much too soon, which doomed him. He was also antagonistic with media but did not have Trump’s charisma. Trump made appearances for Bevin and nearly dragged him across the finish line, but it was not enough. Gov. Beshear has come in and the GOP legislature has limited the damage he can do, which ends up helping his image.
There is recent history that may predict this race’s outcome. This election is similar to John Bel Edwards’ 2019 re-election as governor in Louisiana. Edwards won a nail-biter despite being in a heavy GOP state because he did not govern as a radical Democrat. Gov. Beshear does not have a radical reputation and enjoys broad support. It feels like KY ‘23 will be a replay of LA ‘19. Can Cameron paint Beshear as a radical in a believable fashion to voters? I doubt it, but him vetoing underage genital mutilation helps. Can Cameron’s personal relationship with McConnell’s network, especially the Louisville suburbs and exurbs, overcome the incumbent’s favorable set up? That is key as the suburbs have been leaky for the GOP for multiple cycles now. Attacking lawlessness in Louisville and how Kentucky needs to have a safe Louisville to pull in investment like Nashville & Columbus (Ohio) should be effective.
Kentucky does have troubled state finances and a looming public pension problem. Kentucky is suffering from Tennessee’s big shift right and pro-growth policies to expand its tax base and Ohio’s long term shift right. Northeastern Kentucky enjoyed business investment due to tax advantages versus Ohio, but Ohio is changing slowly. Kentucky is a fiscal mess, too. Per the Mercatus Center, they ranked 46th in fiscal ranking in ‘18. It might be better to leave that at Beshear’s feet as a recession hits, which will cripple state finances.
This should be entertaining. The media will want to use this election as a narrative prep for ‘24. They did it with KY & LA in ‘19, even though covid and fraud made mincemeat of any specific state election from the before times. The taunts from left wing social media will be vicious. Cameron has a white wife after all.
Even if he loses, he has a good future. Cameron will have a clean path in ‘27 for governor or to replace Sen. McConnell in ‘26. Cameron is under 40, a telegenic black Republican so the future is his with the GOP establishment. It is going to be a very difficult race if he stays in for Governor this cycle, but it is his choice… then again, Gov. DeSantis still thinks he can win in ‘24.
One Comment Add yours
watch this as you would a sitcom on tv. fun to watch drama, but no effect on the real world. the diminion votin machines are truly the deciding factor in which puppet we get .