Cameron brings running mate Mills to Bowling Green
Published 3:36 pm Friday, July 21, 2023
BY: JAKE MOORE
BOWLING GREEN — Republican gubernatorial candidate Daniel Cameron returned to Bowling Green on Wednesday – only this time, the Attorney General brought company.
Cameron was joined at the Charleston by Sen. Robby Mills, R-Henderson, his freshly unveiled pick for lieutenant governor.
Mills served as a city commissioner in Henderson from 1998 to 2016 and then represented the 11th District in the Kentucky House of Representatives from 2017-18. He has represented the 4th District in the Kentucky Senate since 2019.
Cameron called Mills a man of great faith, character and a “strong advocate for Kentucky values.”
“I think I’m going to be one of the only constitutional officers west of I-65 that is going to be in the state capitol,” Mills said. “So just being there and advocating for things on that side of the state is going to be positive.”
Speaking to a crowd of supporters and local leaders, Mills went through Gov. Andy Beshear’s record, echoing many of Cameron’s popular campaign talking points.
He said that Beshear’s COVID-19 shutdowns have led to “extreme” learning loss in schools; the governor has “released thousands of violent offenders from jail” and that he “brags about” his support for President Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton.
“With this record, you might not think Andy Beshear is governor of Kentucky, but governor of some place like California or New York,” Mills said. “Wouldn’t it be nice to have a governor in Kentucky who shares the values Kentuckians hold dear?”
Mills said he helped carry the bill that provided relief to the state following December 2021’s devastating tornadoes.
He sponsored 2022’s SB 150, which created the West Kentucky State Aid Funding for Emergencies (SAFE) fund that dished out financial aid to those recovering from the destruction.
A proponent of coal, he also sponsored Senate Bill 4 during this year’s legislative session.
SB 4 created a ”rebuttable presumption” for the retirement of any fossil fuel-fired electric generating unit. Per SB 4, the retirements of coal plants can only be approved if they would not compromise the reliance or reliability of Kentucky’s electric grid.
The Cameron campaign stated Mills has fought for years to “protect children from life-altering puberty blockers and irreversible gender surgeries.”
Cameron said it was important that the legislature understood he sees its members as “a partner in a co-equal branch.”
“Robby Mills doubles down on what I hope to build as a strong and lasting partnership with our legislature,” he said.
The Kentucky Democratic Party was quick to denounce the selection, stating in a release that Cameron had chosen a “pension cutting politician” as his running mate, and someone who supported former Gov. Matt Bevin’s “sewer bill.”
In March of 2018, Republicans turned an 11-page bill regarding sewer services into a 291-page piece of pension reform legislation, giving it its nickname.
Mills supported the bill, which was struck down by the Kentucky Supreme Court in a 7-0 decision that December.
“I’ll just tell you that when we came into office as a supermajority in the legislature, we had a mess on our hands with pensions,” Mills said.
He said that decisions needed to be made and that he stands “fully behind those decisions.”
“Teachers nowadays have better funded pensions than they did when we came into office,” Mills said. “All the pensions are improving steadily in the state of Kentucky so I feel very good about what we did with our pensions.”
Mills said the Cameron campaign will have to “hit the road” to build up stronger name recognition for the western Kentucky senator.
“I think talking about our record in the legislature, talking about the values that we hold so dearly I think will befriend people to the campaign and people will quickly learn what I’m about and who I am,” Mills said.
He said continued work on I-69 and its Ohio River crossing are things he would advocate for in Frankfort as lieutenant governor.
“I look forward to walking these next 16 weeks alongside him, and look forward to the partnership that we will have over the course of the next eight years of the Cameron-Mills administration,” Cameron said.
Beshear’s campaign responded to Cameron’s pick on Wednesday, saying that the choice of lieutenant governor demonstrates a candidate’s “judgment and values.”
The statement focused on the “sewer bill.”
“Selecting the person who helped lead the charge to enact Matt Bevin’s plan to slash pensions for our teachers, police and firefighters shows how Daniel Cameron does not care about hard-working Kentuckians,” the statement read.
“Andy is proud to be running with an active educator in Jacqueline Coleman, someone who understands the importance of public schools and public school teachers.”