Cameron, Beshear, and who actually has the backing of law enforcement Skip to content

Cameron, Beshear, and who actually has the backing of law enforcement

Cameron is supposed to be the “top cop” – but it looks like Beshear actually has the support.

3 min read

Since time immemorial, Republicans have demagogued against Democrats as “soft on crime.”

GOP Attorney Gen. Daniel Cameron claims that crime is rising in Kentucky and that it’s all the fault of Gov. Andy Beshear, the Democrat whose job the AG wants.

“That’s not just wrong,” an Associated Press story quoted Beshear’s response. “That’s hiding from problems and blaming others.”

Posted online by WHAS, the story added, “Beshear’s campaign said an FBI database shows Kentucky’s violent crime rate is well below the national average, and that every state bordering Kentucky has a higher rate than Kentucky’s with one exception: Virginia.”

As AG, Cameron is the state’s top cop. He likes to brag that he enjoys big-time backing from peace officers, implying that Beshear doesn’t.

But Cameron’s job of convincing independents and swing voters that Beshear coddles crooks has likely gotten at least a tad harder, now that nearly three dozen current and past law officers from Fulton to Pikeville have endorsed the incumbent for a second term.

In Frankfort on June 6, Team Beshear unveiled Law Enforcement for Beshear, which a campaign press release called  “a bipartisan group [that] includes over 35 law enforcement officials – including the only two Kentucky sheriffs to serve as presidents of the National Sheriffs’ Association – who strongly back Beshear and his record of standing up for law enforcement.”

In the release, the governor praised “law enforcement officers [who] work every day to help make us safer while serving on the frontlines of some of the most pressing and challenging issues we are facing, and I am honored to have their support. We’re asking our men and women in uniform to risk their lives, deal with some of the toughest crimes, and see things that are difficult for anyone to handle.

“That’s why I worked with the legislature to get $15,000 pay raises across the board for the Kentucky State Police, pushed to fully fund our pension systems as well as KLEFPF [the Kentucky Law Enforcement Foundation Program Fund] in all three of my budget proposals, and secured millions in funding for new training facilities and equipment. Everyone deserves to be safe, and that’s what our law enforcement community has dedicated their lives to doing. I want to thank our law enforcement personnel for their bravery and service, and I am proud to have the bipartisan support of Law Enforcement for Beshear.”

Floyd County Sheriff John Hunt is  co-chair of the group. “Now more than ever, law enforcement needs a strong ally in Frankfort with a record of fighting for us and understanding the sacrifices our officers make to keep our Commonwealth safe,” the release quoted him. “Governor Beshear’s work to pass pay raises, deliver more resources, and provide funding for training facilities throughout the Commonwealth are all evidence of his unwavering commitment to our law enforcement officers. While other candidates try to dodge responsibility in office, Governor Beshear has shown up and delivered for Kentucky law enforcement.”

Another recent Team Beshear press release chided Cameron for not attending a Richmond memorial service honoring seven Kentucky law enforcement officers who lost their lives in the line of duty in 2022.

“They demonstrated courage until the very end, and for that, the entire Commonwealth of Kentucky is eternally grateful,” Beshear said during the service at the state Law Enforcement Memorial.

Cameron’s absence prompted KDP spokesperson Anna Breedlove to accuse the AG of skipping “adding names of fallen officers to the Kentucky Law Enforcement Memorial.”

Law Enforcement for Beshear is yet another example of the governor’s reelection campaign focus on bipartisan coalition-building and on courting swing voters and independents. In contrast, the Trump and McConnell-blessed Cameron is still mainly pandering to his MAGA base, evidently figuring Demagoguery, Dissembling, and Doting on the Donald are his surest path to the governor’s mansion.


Below is the full list of law enforcement officials taking part in endorsing Governor Beshear as part of Law Enforcement for Beshear.

Floyd County Sheriff John Hunt, Co-Chair
Hardin County Sheriff John Ward, Co-Chair
Jefferson County Sheriff John Aubrey
Retired Lexington Police Chief Mark Barnard
Hancock County Sheriff Dale Bozarth
Retired US Magistrate Loren "Squirrel" Carl
Retired Franklin County Sheriff Ted Collins
Elliott County Sheriff Ray Craft
Owensboro Police Chief Art Ealum
Perry County Sheriff Joe Engle
Estill County Sheriff Chris Flynn
Newport City Manager and retired Newport Police Chief Tom Fromme
Retired Warren County Sheriff Jerry “Peanuts” Gaines
Danville Police Chief Anthony Gray
Breathitt County Sheriff John Holland
Mercer County Sheriff Ernie Kelty
Retired Murray Police Chief Jeff Liles
Morgan County Sheriff Gregory Motley
Fulton County Sheriff Chad Allen Parker
Retired Chief Deputy Jessamine County Allen “Doodle” Peel
Nelson County Sheriff Ramon Pineiroa
Washington County Sheriff Jerry Pinkston
Franklin County Sheriff Chris Quire
Woodford County Jailer Michele Rankin
Retired Richmond Police Sgt. Willard Reardon
Pike County Sheriff Rodney Scott
Nicholas County Sheriff Jeff Sidles
Menifee County Sheriff Roger Smallwood
Harrison County Sheriff Shain Stephens
Logan County Sheriff Stephen Stratton
Retired Jessamine County Sheriff Joe Walker
Muhlenberg County Sheriff William Ward
Lexington Police Chief Lawrence Weathers
Woodford County Sheriff John Wilhoit 
Retired Boyd County Sheriff Bobby Jack Woods
Retired Woodford County Sheriff Wayne Wright
Lawrenceburg Mayor and Retired Anderson County Sheriff Troy Young

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Berry Craig

Berry Craig is a professor emeritus of history at West KY Community College, and an author of seven books and co-author of two more. (Read the rest on the Contributors page.)

Arlington, KY



The Daily Wrap for Monday, 5/20

The Daily Wrap for Monday, 5/20

A very light news day, with most of the focus on the arrest of the golfer at the PGA last week. Of note, though, is Heather Cox Richardson’s summary of President Biden’s commencement speech at Morehouse.

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