Andy Beshear Secures Reelection in Win Over Daniel Cameron

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (Jon Cherry/Getty Images)
November 7, 2023

Kentucky Democratic governor Andy Beshear secured reelection Tuesday, with the incumbent defeating his Republican challenger, attorney general Daniel Cameron.

Beshear, who also served as attorney general before his first gubernatorial run, led Cameron by less than 6 points with 83 percent of the vote reported when the Associated Press called the race at 9 p.m. Tuesday night.

Beshear's win comes as a blow to the GOP, who hoped to flip control of the Kentucky governor's mansion following Beshear's razor-thin 2019 victory over then-Republican incumbent Matt Bevin. Beshear worked to localize the race, arguing in its closing days that the contest "has nothing to do" with unpopular President Joe Biden.

Beshear will likely continue to spar with Kentucky's Republican-controlled legislature in his second term.

Earlier this year, for example, Beshear vetoed a piece of GOP legislation that banned transgender surgeries for minors in Kentucky, arguing that those surgeries don't happen in Kentucky. After state Republicans overturned the veto, a Washington Free Beacon report revealed that a University of Kentucky clinic did perform "gender reassignment surgeries on minors," as shown through a letter from the clinic obtained by the Free Beacon.

Cameron hammered Beshear over his veto and the subsequent letter, using the issue to characterize the race as one of "crazy versus normal." Beshear responded by claiming the University of Kentucky clinic performed the surgeries without his knowledge.

Beshear's win could prompt Republican concerns should Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) vacate his seat before he is up for reelection in 2026. While state law dictates that the governor must choose from three candidates chosen by the party that controls the seat in the case of a vacancy, Beshear in October refused to say if he would comply with the law. "I don't think we're going to face that situation," he said.

Beshear's win also marks the survival of the Beshear family political dynasty—Beshear's father served as Kentucky's 61st governor from 2007 to 2015.