Democrats maintained their hold on deep-red Kentucky’s governor seat Tuesday in a blow to Republicans ahead of the 2024 elections.
The Associated Press called the race for incumbent Democrat Gov. Andy Beshear over Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who had been gaining in the polls in recent days after largely trailing by double-digits since the party primaries in May.
“Tonight I stand here excited and optimistic about what we’re going to do these next four years together,” Beshear told a fired up crowd of supporters gathered at his Election Night party in downtown Louisville.
“I pledge to be a governor that represents all of us regardless of your party and regardless of who you voted for,” he added.
Beshear will continue as one of the last remaining Democrat governors of a deep-red state where Republican voters outnumber Democrat voters, and conservative roots run deep. Kansas Gov. Laura Kelley and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards are the only other two Democrat governors of Republican-leaning states.
Beshear’s victory was likely boosted by his positive approval rating as Kentucky’s governor. Even as a Democrat in a conservative state, Beshear has consistently been rated as one of the most popular governors in the country.
Despite Beshear’s popularity, Kentucky Republicans had hoped to build off the party’s momentum after it flipped the Louisiana governor’s mansion red last month with the victory of Attorney General Jeff Landry over his Democrat opponent, who was endorsed by a term-limited Bel Edwards.
The Democrat victory also comes as a blow to former President Donald Trump, who endorsed Cameron early in the race before the party primaries, and reiterated that endorsement in the weeks leading up to the election.
Trump’s endorsement boosted Cameron over a crowded Republican primary field that included former U.N. Ambassador Kelly Craft and Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles. Following Beshear’s victory, a number of local and national sources within Republican politics told Fox News Digital that Craft would have been the more “formidable” opponent to face the Democrat, but Trump’s endorsement of Cameron secured his primary win.
Views of Beshear as a potential national Democrat party figure who can attract support from liberals, moderates and conservatives alike will likely grow following his re-election.
The win by Democrats also puts a damper on what would have been even greater momentum for Republicans heading into the 2024 elections where a number of expected tight races in multiple states across the country could determine the balance of power in Washington, D.C.