Beshear, Cameron embark on final week bus tours

Published 1:37 pm Friday, November 3, 2023

Gubernatorial candidates Andy Beshear and Daniel Cameron are traveling across the commonwealth to energize supporters in the final week before Election Day.

Wednesday, both campaigns made six bus tour stops throughout Kentucky, from Louisville to Bowling Green.

Cameron’s campaign brought star power, featuring Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, former UK swimmer-turned-activist Riley Gaines and Kristin Crosbie, a member of the Republican National Committee.

Beshear’s campaign stuck to the basics, gathering many of the Democratic down ballot candidates, including State Rep. Pam Stevenson, Sierra Enlow and Michael Bowman.

Cameron stop

Republican governor candidate and Attorney General Daniel Cameron speaks to supporters at a Campbellsville stop on his pre-election bus tour across Kentucky on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023.

About 150 supporters attended Cameron’s late morning stop in Campbellsville. As Cameron entered and exited the room, they chanted his name.

Several held Farmers for Cameron and Women for Cameron signs.

State Sen. Max Wise, Treasurer Allison Ball, Gaines, and Huckabee Sanders spoke at the event.

They focused on what they said was at stake in the governor’s race — Kentucky’s children and transgender issues.

Gaines spoke about her experience tying for fifth at the NCAAs in the 200 freestyle against University of Pennsylvania transgender swimmer Lia Thomas her senior year at the University of Kentucky.

She mentioned a letter sent to the NCAA this week calling its transgender student-athlete policy unfair to female college athletes and asking for it to be rewritten.

Huckabee Sanders signed it alongside eight other Republican governors. Gaines said that if Cameron were governor, he would have signed it.

Huckabee Sanders emphasized her role as a mother, in addition to her public service.

“My kids serve as a perfect and permanent reminder of everything that is at stake in the country right now,” she said.

“And if anybody is paying attention to what is happening in Washington, you can’t stand to not be frustrated, to not be angry, which is why it is so important that we elect good conservative governors to push back against the craziness.”

Cameron repeated his recent refrain, saying that the race isn’t about Democrat or Republican, but rather “crazy versus normal.”

He said that, unlike Beshear, he would “protect women’s sports from biological males,” never shut down businesses or churches and fight against the Biden administration’s agenda.

“This race really isn’t about us. This is about our kids and our grandkids,” he said.

“This is about preserving for them ideals that have propelled this nation forward since its very inception, those ideals being faith, family and community.”

Beshear stop

Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear speaks to supporters at a Bardstown stop on his pre-election bus tour across Kentucky on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023.

Beshear later responded to the Cameron campaign’s emphasis on transgender issues.

“I think that we’ve seen tens of millions of dollars of just gross commercials on television,” he said.

“I have parents that say the attorney general says my kid shouldn’t be exposed to something, and they weren’t exposed at school and they weren’t exposed at the library – they were exposed to the very commercial that he put on television.”

Beshear said that he is running to be a governor for “all the people,” and that every child “deserves to be treated with dignity and respect.”

“I oppose gender reassignment surgeries for minors, but otherwise, let’s make sure that parents make difficult medical decisions for their kids and not big government,” he said.

Beshear’s Bardstown afternoon stop at Scout & Scholar was smaller, but no less energetic than Cameron’s Campbellsville event.

About 50 supporters crowded into the brewery to see Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman.

Beshear said he was “grateful” for the support, and expressed his optimism about Kentucky’s future after getting through multiple natural disasters together.

The Beshear-Coleman ticket also focused on children, but from an educational angle.

Beshear said that there was enough money in the current surplus to pay for across-the-board 11% raises for public school employees, universal pre-K and continued infrastructure funding for cleaner water and high-speed internet.

At Cameron’s earlier stop, he said that Beshear couldn’t deliver on his promises of raises, because he hadn’t before.

“This governor is never gonna give you anything,” Cameron said. “Because he’s promised you $2,000, he’s promised you a 5% raise and then he’s now promising 11%, and you haven’t gotten it yet.”

Beshear said that he was offering a message of unity, focusing on issues that are nonpartisan.

In contrast, he said what voters are seeing from his opponent is “fear, anger, division, even encouragement for you to violate that Golden Rule and for one Kentuckian to hate their neighbor.”