Gubernatorial nominee’s plans to attend rally spark Republican infighting in Kentucky

Jun 30, 2023, 3:10 PM | Updated: 3:38 pm

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Republican infighting has erupted in Kentucky over gubernatorial nominee Daniel Cameron’s plans to attend a rally sponsored by an ex-rival who is now looking to challenge an incumbent GOP congressman next year.

That congressman, Thomas Massie, bluntly said Friday it would be a mistake for Cameron to attend the September rally to be hosted by Eric Deters in northern Kentucky — a GOP-leaning region where Democrat Andy Beshear made crucial inroads four years ago in winning the governorship. Cameron, the state’s Republican attorney general, is trying to unseat Beshear in one of the nation’s most closely watched campaigns in 2023.

Cameron’s plan to associate himself with Deters at the event “damages the AG’s credibility and jeopardizes his election,” the veteran congressman said in an emailed statement.

Cameron scored a convincing victory in the crowded May GOP gubernatorial primary, while Deters lagged far behind in fourth place. Since then, Deters has edged closer toward challenging Massie in next year’s Republican primary, having indicated he plans to announce his candidacy for the 4th District seat at the September “Freedom Fest” event at his northern Kentucky farm.

Deters — known for his allegiance to Donald Trump and sharing the ex-president’s no-holds-barred style — says he’ll do everything he can to help get Cameron elected. Deters said on social media Friday that Massie was “putting his own interests” ahead of Cameron and GOP voters, and that Massie was “jealous” about what an “incredible event” is planned. Deters says Cameron will be a “special guest” at the rally.

Cameron’s campaign said Friday it’s still finalizing his schedule but reiterated that Cameron plans to attend. The campaign didn’t respond to the backlash that has come from Massie and one of the congressman’s key allies — Republican state Rep. Savannah Maddox. The development, first reported by the Courier Journal in Louisville, underscores the challenges Cameron faces in uniting different factions within the GOP, the state’s dominant political party.

Maddox warned Friday that Cameron’s decision to attend the Deters-sponsored event has stirred an outcry among conservatives in the sprawling congressional district, which spans northern Kentucky and includes suburban areas south of Cincinnati, Ohio, that loom as a key battleground this fall.

“I find it hard to believe, and folks that I’ve spoken with find it hard to believe, that a Republican nominee for governor would attend the campaign launch event for someone who wants to try to defeat Congressman Thomas Massie,” Maddox said by phone Friday.

Maddox made her own months-long run for governor before exiting the primary campaign late last year. Deters has frequently targeted both Massie and Maddox for harsh criticism.

Massie and Maddox characterized Cameron’s plans to show up at the rally as a miscalculation.

“The polls show it’s going to be a close race this November with not a lot of room for mistakes,” Massie said. “Attendance at this rally would be a mistake and I think Cameron’s seasoned advisors know that.”

Meanwhile, Beshear’s campaign characterized the GOP infighting as a sign that Cameron “can’t even manage to bring his party together.”

As Kentucky’s chief law enforcement official, Cameron’s attendance at the event could lead to even more fallout. Deters pleaded guilty earlier this year to charges stemming from chasing his nephew in a truck at his farm after he was flipped off.

Deters says the September event is to be headlined by Trump and is to feature speeches from Trump’s adult sons and other prominent conservative figures. A Trump campaign spokesman did not immediately respond to a question Friday about whether he would attend. Trump endorsed Cameron early in Kentucky’s GOP primary campaign, providing a crucial boost for Cameron in winning the nomination.

Trump has his own Trump’s good graces, winning Trump’s endorsement ahead of Kentucky’s primary.

The libertarian-minded Massie has trounced his GOP challengers in the past on his way to reelection in the Republican-dominated district. Massie is backing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — a leading Trump rival — in the Republican campaign for president in 2024.

National News

Associated Press

UN to vote on resolution to authorize one-year deployment of armed force to help Haiti fight gangs

The U.N. Security Council is scheduling a vote Monday on a resolution that would authorize a one-year deployment of an international force to help Haiti quell a surge in gang violence and restore security so the troubled Caribbean nation can hold long-delayed elections. The U.S.-drafted resolution obtained by The Associated Press on Saturday welcomes Kenya’s […]

3 minutes ago

Associated Press

The police chief who led a raid of a small Kansas newspaper has been suspended

The police chief who led a highly criticized raid of a small Kansas newspaper has been suspended, the mayor confirmed to The Associated Press on Saturday. Marion Mayor Dave Mayfield in a text said he suspended Chief Gideon Cody on Thursday. He declined to discuss his decision further and did not say whether Cody was […]

3 hours ago

FILE - Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., listens to fellow speakers before President Joe Biden speaks on ...

Associated Press

Rep. Jamaal Bowman triggered a fire alarm in a House office building amid voting on a funding bill

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman acknowledged triggering a fire alarm Saturday in one of the U.S. Capitol office buildings as lawmakers scrambled to pass a bill to fund the government before the midnight shutdown deadline. The fire alarm sounded out around noon in the Cannon House Office Building and prompted a building-wide evacuation […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Federal agency sues Chipotle after a Kansas manager allegedly ripped off an employee’s hijab

A federal agency has sued the restaurant chain Chipotle, accusing it of religious harassment and retaliation after a manager at a Kansas location forcibly removed an employee’s hijab, a headscarf worn by some Muslim women. In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleged that in 2021, an assistant manager at a Chipotle […]

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Virginia ex-superintendent convicted of misdemeanor in firing of teacher

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A Virginia jury has convicted a former schools superintendent on a misdemeanor charge in connection with what prosecutors said was the retaliatory firing of a teacher who reported that an elementary school student inappropriately touched her. Former Loudoun County Public Schools Superintendent Scott Ziegler was acquitted on a separate misdemeanor count […]

5 hours ago

Doris Peters calls voters during a phone bank event Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023, at the Republican Par...

Associated Press

Anti-abortion groups are at odds on strategies ahead of Ohio vote. It could be a preview for 2024

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Abortion opponents in Ohio are at odds not only over how to frame their opposition to a reproductive rights initiative on the state’s November ballot but also over their longer-term goals on how severely they would restrict the procedure. The disagreements, roiling the anti-abortion side just six weeks before Election Day, […]

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Gubernatorial nominee’s plans to attend rally spark Republican infighting in Kentucky