Democratic Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear won a second term in office by defeating Republican Daniel Cameron, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump. Beshear’s victory was especially remarkable in Letcher County, which voted for Trump by 79.1 percent in 2020, but switched to Beshear by 52 percent in 2023.
Beshear said his win showed that Kentucky rejected anger politics and proved there is more that unites than divides the state. “We have proven that we can do so much more than just survive. We can thrive. And we have proven that there is no challenge that we cannot face when we face it together as Team Kentucky,” he said in his victory speech.
Beshear also benefited from a ballot measure that would amend the state constitution to declare that there is no right to abortion in Kentucky. The measure passed with 62 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results. Addia Wuchner, executive director of Kentucky Right to Life, said the measure was a huge win for the pro-life movement. “This is a huge win for the pro-life movement. This is a huge win for the people of Kentucky who value life,” she said.
Cameron, who was the first African American attorney general of Kentucky and a rising star in the Republican Party, conceded the race and congratulated Beshear. He thanked Trump for his support and said he would continue to fight for conservative values. “We are not going to let one election define who we are and what we stand for,” he said.
NBC’s Steve Kornacki analyzed the county-by-county results and found that Beshear made significant gains in rural areas that were strongly pro-Trump in 2020. He said that many of these voters were not necessarily Republicans or conservatives, but Trump voters. “I think what you’re seeing here is a lot of these voters who went for Trump in 2020, they’re not necessarily Republicans. They’re not necessarily conservatives. They’re Trump voters,” he said.
Beshear’s win in Kentucky was one of several victories for Democrats in the off-year elections. They also won the governor’s race in Virginia, where Terry McAuliffe defeated Glenn Youngkin, and a ballot measure in Ohio that would ban abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. These results suggest that Democrats have an edge in the upcoming midterm elections, where they hope to retain control of Congress and challenge Republican governors in key states.
– Democrats Set to Flip County Donald Trump Won by Nearly 60 Points, Newsweek, Nov 08, 2023
– NBC’s Kornacki: Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear Winning In Kentucky Counties Where Trump Got 75-80% Of The Vote In 2020, RealClearPolitics, Nov 08, 2023
– Abortion, Not Biden, Propels Democrats to Off-Year Election Wins, MSN, Nov 08, 2023
– Democrat Andy Beshear defeats Trump-endorsed Daniel Cameron for Kentucky governor, Yahoo News, Nov 07, 2023