NATIONAL NEWS

Kentucky Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear forms PAC to support candidates across the country

Jan 8, 2024, 5:12 AM

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear, who defeated Donald Trump-backed rivals twice in Republican-leaning Kentucky, announced the formation of a federal political action committee on Monday to support candidates across the country as he seeks to broaden his influence beyond the Bluegrass State.

Beshear launched a PAC called In This Together with a focus on helping elect more Democrats in swing states and Republican strongholds. The move comes barely two months since Beshear secured a second term with a convincing victory over GOP challenger Daniel Cameron in one of the nation’s most closely watched elections of 2023.

Beshear said he’s looking to support candidates who “demonstrate a commitment to leading with empathy and compassion and the backbone to always do what’s right, regardless of politics.” His PAC will support candidates running for local, state and federal offices, the governor said.

“It’s critically important that we elect more good people — both in Kentucky and around the country — who will stand strong on our shared values and always do the right thing, even when it’s hard,” the governor said in a news release.

Beshear’s reelection in a state that otherwise has trended heavily toward the GOP has fueled speculation about whether the 46-year-old governor might run for national office someday. The governor last year committed to serving out his second four-year term, which will end in late 2027.

Beshear, the son of former two-term Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear, has repeatedly denounced the divisive nature of politics. In his recent State of the Commonwealth speech, he called for a united effort with Kentucky’s Republican lawmakers to improve education, health care and the economy. The GOP holds supermajorities in both legislative chambers.

Beshear’s reelection last year could serve as a model for other Democrats on how to make inroads in Republican territory. The incumbent governor withstood relentless attacks aimed at stirring up Kentuckians over transgender issues and the post-COVID inflationary surge during Democratic President Joe Biden’s term. Beshear insulated himself from the onslaught by focusing on core pocketbook issues and his support for more exceptions to the state’s near-total abortion ban.

Beshear was first elected governor in 2019 when he defeated Republican Gov. Matt Bevin. Both Bevin and Cameron played up their support from Trump, who easily carried Kentucky in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections and who remains popular with Republican voters in the state.

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Kentucky Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear forms PAC to support candidates across the country