A leading Kentucky Jewish group has "extreme concerns" about liberal activists Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory's plans to influence the state's upcoming gubernatorial race, citing the controversial pair's "extreme anti-Semitic legacy."
After Sarsour and Mallory on Monday launched a campaign to stop Republican Daniel Cameron from becoming Kentucky's first black governor, the Kentucky Jewish Council blasted the activists over their "lengthy records of anti-Semitism." Sarsour and Mallory were ousted from the anti-Trump group they helped lead, the Women's March, over anti-Semitic comments, and both have ties to anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has denounced Jews as "termites" and praised Adolf Hitler as a "very great man."
"Linda Sarsour and Tamika Mallory have repeatedly demonstrated their bias against the Jewish community through public statements, social media posts, and associations with individuals who propagate anti-Semitic views," the group, which is the "leading statewide voice and advocate for the Kentucky Jewish community," said in a statement. "Platforming influential figures like Sarsour and Mallory, with lengthy records of anti-Semitism, not only creates division but can potentially incite further hatred, discrimination, and violence against our community."
The fiery statement puts pressure on Kentucky Democratic governor Andy Beshear to similarly condemn Sarsour and Mallory as he navigates a difficult reelection bid. In addition to Sarsour and Mallory's "lengthy records of anti-Semitism," the pair's social justice organization, Until Freedom, is led by far-left activists who have advocated for a "world without prisons."
Beshear's campaign did not return a request for comment.
At their Monday press conference, Sarsour and Mallory announced plans to open two offices in Kentucky to register new voters and oppose Cameron's candidacy. Activists at the press conference referred to Cameron—the state's first black attorney general—as "Judas" and "Uncle Daniel," a reference to the racist "Uncle Tom" trope that denigrates conservative black men as race traitors. "I would love to see a black man as governor, but not Daniel Cameron," one activist said during the event.
Speakers at the event also praised Beshear, saying that while the Democrat "isn't perfect," he "has shown us that he is ready to be our governor for four more years."
This is not the first time Sarsour has attracted criticism for wading into a political race. When Sarsour appeared on a Democratic National Committee livestream in 2020, the Biden campaign denounced her, with a spokesman saying that then-candidate Joe Biden "condemns her views." Prominent far-left Democrats rushed to Sarsour's defense—"Squad" member Rashida Tlaib said she was "so sick and tired of folks going after [Sarsour] and other Palestinian activists for speaking the truth about oppression and injustice."
Sarsour and Mallory founded Until Freedom in New York City in 2019, the group's tax forms show. The activists later used the group to host "Days of Rage" against "racist policing." Sarsour and Mallory, who earned more than $100,000 through the group in 2020, moved it to Louisville in 2020, pledging to "#OccupyKentucky."
Both Beshear and Cameron won statewide elections in 2019—Beshear beat unpopular GOP incumbent Matt Bevin to become Kentucky's governor, while Cameron beat Democrat Greg Stumbo by 15 points to become the state's attorney general. Cameron's win made him the first black man to both hold the post and independently win a statewide race.
Four years later, Beshear and Cameron are vying to control the state's governor's mansion, with both candidates tied at 47 percent support, according to a Cygnal poll conducted in May. The pair will square off at the ballot box in November.