There are elections where the differences across the various candidates are small, and the choice is difficult. In those cases, name recognition and the party label often carry the day.
But then there are those elections where the best choice is so obvious, so clear-cut, that any person who is not married to their party can see which candidate deserves their vote.
And in this year’s gubernatorial election in Kentucky, the right choice is so clear that it seems almost unnecessary to point it out. But just in case anyone has overlooked the clarity of this election, let’s name it:
The candidate who deserves your vote for governor is overwhelmingly Andy Beshear.
Some reasons you should vote for Andy Beshear
Leadership during crisis: Rarely has any elected official been handed a first term like Andy Beshear. A global pandemic, unprecedented damage from tornadoes, then massive flooding – challenges that would have tested any governor. And yet, we know that challenges reveal character, and Beshear showed leadership through all of these challenges.
Compassion and empathy for all: Over and over, Andy Beshear has shown a sense of empathy and compassion for all the people of Kentucky. Whether it is meeting with survivors of weather disasters, or insisting on calling out the names of persons lost to COVID, or standing up for the marginalized in our society, it is obvious that our governor cares deeply about all Kentuckians.
A champion for public education: Not only did Beshear choose an educator for his lieutenant governor, he has consistently pushed for more funding for teachers and schools, and has stood against the efforts of some to steal money from our public schools and give it to private interests.
An approach to policy that is both reasoned and courageous: Governor Beshear has, for the most part, followed a moderate approach to policy, using facts and reason to determine his positions and to express them. However, he has also shown the willingness to speak out forcefully when it is needed. He called the Republican’s abortion ban “one of the most extreme in the country.” And when Republican’s passed SB 150, the most cruel anti-trans bill in the country, he vetoed it, saying it would “endanger the children of Kentucky.”
Some reasons you should NOT vote for Daniel Cameron
Over-ambitious and under-experienced: When Cameron ran for attorney general, his lack of experience became a significant issue. His answer to the requirement for the AG to have practiced law for eight years? His experience as a law clerk.
He has less than three years experience working in state government, and yet he says he is ready to be the governor of a state – a state that comes with historical challenges. His ambition has overcome his grasp of reality.
An enemy of public education: Cameron has made it plain for months that if elected, he intends to push for a dramatic use of vouchers and charter schools. In a state that struggles to fund its public schools adequately, he would rob what funding there is and divert it to private schools. And don’t forget that Cameron chose a running mate who pushed to cut teachers’ pensions.
Parrots right-wing talking points: Whatever Fox News puts out, Daniel Cameron repeats. Whether it’s “gangs in the cities” or “critical race theory” or “liberal gender ideology,” Cameron is like a right-wing doll: wind him up and out come the talking points. Of special note is his attack on care for trans youth, which is the current stalking-horse of the right. It is doubtful that Cameron actually cares all that much about gender-affirming care; he just sees it as another way to motivate his base through anger.
Still clings to Donald Trump: Frankly, this point should mean immediate disqualification all on its own. Not only has Cameron continued to promote his Trump endorsement, he has continued to defend Trump, even as the indictments pile up – purely in hopes of garnering the MAGA vote in Kentucky. His political calculus is apparently more important than his own moral code.
Will this race be close? Probably. Should it be close? Not at all. Andy Beshear is head and shoulders the best choice for governor in 2023. Let us hope the voters see that as clearly as they should.