He defeated Republican state Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who would have been the first elected black Republican governor in the nation had he won.
Beshear captured 53% of the vote to Cameron’s 47%.
The son of former Gov. Steve Beshear, the governor was elected to his first term in 2019, ousting an unpopular incumbent, Republican Matt Bevin.
Cameron, elected as attorney general in 2019, is a former legal counsel to Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
While Beshear has shunned Biden, Camerson has touted the endorsement of former President Donald Trump. In September 2020, then-President Trump included Cameron’s name on a list of 20 potential nominees for the next Supreme Court vacancy.
Oddly, the younger Beshear and Cameron were partners at the Kentucky law firm of Stites & Harbison.
Beshear was among the more restrictive governors on COVID-19 issues in 2020. He vetoed a bill from the Republican-dominated Kentucky General Assembly to prohibit sex-reassignment treatments for children, but the legislature overrode the veto. Like other Democrats nationally, Beshear has also campaigned on pro-abortion rhetoric, pointing to Cameron’s pro-life position.
Cameron supports the current Kentucky law—also passed over Beshear’s veto—that limits abortions except to preserve the woman’s life or protect her from injury. He has also said he would support adding exceptions for rape and incest if courts forced the state to change the law.
Though considered a red state, Kentucky has only elected three Republicans as governor since 1967. Additionally, the state has been somewhat of a bellwether: For the last five election cycles, the party that won the Kentucky governor’s race won the presidential race the following year.
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