Cameron, Kelley Paul return to BG ahead of election

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, November 2, 2023

By JAKE MOORE, Bowling Green Daily News

Attorney General Daniel Cameron can’t seem to get enough of Warren County.

“Yesterday was Halloween. But the scariest thing in the book would be giving Andy Beshear four more years in the governor’s office,” Cameron told a crowd of supporters and political figures inside the local BlueCotton plant on Wednesday.

The Republican hopeful for governor has not shied away from Warren County — he’s made more than a half-dozen stops in and around Bowling Green across his primary and general election campaigns — a place that could play a crucial role in deciding how things shake out in the gubernatorial election next week.

Gov. Andy Beshear narrowly took the county over Matt Bevin in 2019, earning a slim margin of victory with 18,249 votes to Bevin’s 17,118.

According to voter registration figures provided by County Clerk Lynette Yates shortly before this year’s voter registration deadline, 41,544 of the county’s registered voters are Republican, 40,098 are Democrat and 10,664 are other.

Kelley Paul, wife of U.S. Senator Rand Paul, R-Bowling Green, said she was “hearing a lot of positive momentum” locally.

“Especially in the last couple weeks. I’m hearing great things,” she said. “People that were sort of even on the fence are saying ‘you know what, I think this election is too important.’ I think we’re going to have a big, big victory on Tuesday.”

Sen. Mike Wilson, R-Bowling Green, said Cameron is drawing crowds everywhere he goes and made reference to a poll released in mid-October to illustrate the campaign’s momentum.

An Oct. 18-19 poll, sponsored by Republican PAC Bluegrass Freedom Action, pinned Beshear and Cameron at 47% and 45% of the vote, respectively.

An Oct. 14-16 poll sponsored by the Beshear campaign put the incumbent ahead 52% to 44%. Emerson College Polling’s Oct. 6 poll gave Beshear a 16-point lead, 49% to 33%.

“This election is very winnable if Western Kentucky turns out,” Cameron’s running mate, Sen. Robby Mills, R-Henderson, told the crowd.

Mills appeared Wednesday to speak about 2022’s SB 83, a bill he sponsored, that required high schools to lock participation in sports to an athlete’s biological sex rather than gender identity.

The bill was vetoed by Beshear, but that decision was overridden by the legislature. Mills said that Beshear has a record of 110 vetoes in four years.

“Obviously he does not cooperate with the legislature,” Mills said.

He brought forward Riley Gaines, a former athlete for the University of Kentucky’s NCAA women’s swim team, to speak further on transgender athletes.

Gaines tied for fifth place with transgender swimmer Lia Thomas at the 2022 NCAA Championship in the 200 meter freestyle finals and has since been an advocate against athletes born as males competing in women’s sports.

“He became the first man to win an NCAA women’s title. Trailblazer,” Gaines said.

She said there’s a war on women and children, the premise of which stems from the “denial of objective truth” — that men are men and women are women.

“If anyone has read “1984,” we already know what the outcome looks like if we continue to do that,” Gaines said.

She told the crowd that nine governors had sent a letter to the NCAA this week encouraging the body to revise its policy on transgender athletes to “protect, preserve and encourage fairness in women’s athletics.” Beshear was not among those nine.

“Any person who is going to deny the most simple, most common-sense of truths; you can’t believe another word that comes out of their mouth,” Gaines said. “He does not represent Kentucky values. He does not represent me.”

Paul said the country is at a crossroads, and that Democrats like Beshear and President Joe Biden “want to silence us.”

“(They) want to take away our civil liberties, and that is really what this all comes down to,” Paul said. “A distinct difference in viewpoint. The contrast could not be clearer between Daniel Cameron and Andy Beshear.”

The Daily News asked the attorney general what he thought a Cameron governorship would look like for transgender Kentuckians.

“My office is going to be about protecting our kids from these irreversible procedures, making sure we stand up for common sense legislation,” he said. “I think you’ve got to have leadership in this state that is willing to say ‘a man is a man and a woman is a woman.’ ”

Cameron added he thought Beshear was out of step with the “majority of Kentuckians” for vetoing SB 83.

He also said his day-one priority as governor would be to work with the legislature to pass his Cameron Catch-Up Plan, a 16-week math and reading tutoring plan for students who have struggled following COVID-19.