KY Dems celebrate CCBB&J at fund-raising dinner Skip to content

KY Dems celebrate CCBB&J at fund-raising dinner

And a good time was had by all!

5 min read

On Friday night, Democrats from across the state gathered to renew old friendships, make new ones, get inspired for the fall – and celebrate CCBB&J, as well. They did all this at the “Forward Together” dinner put on in Louisville by the Kentucky Democratic Party (KDP).

What’s CCBB&J? Why, it’s Colmon (Elridge), Coleman (Jacqueline), Beshear (Andy), Beshear (Steve), and Jones (Doug) – the speakers at the dinner.

Invocation by Col. Pam Stevenson

To get things started, state rep and retired Air Force colonel (and pastor) Pam Stevenson delivered the invocation. It was meaningful, passionate, and even a little light-hearted, as she ended with “And God, bless this food, ‘cause we’re hungry.”

She then led the Pledge of Allegiance, after which she got the audience to do a call-and-response on “with liberty and justice for all,” by saying “It doesn’t say SOME, it says ...” and the audience responding with “ALL!”

Introductions by Colman Elridge

Stevenson was followed by the chair of the party, Colmon Elridge. He introduced various elected officials and candidates, as well as the KDP staff.

He then spent some time talking about both of the Beshears, Steve and Andy, and about the impact they have had on his life. He noted that this was Father’s Day weekend, and how much both Beshears had shown him about how to be a good father.

Lieutenant Governor Jacqueline Coleman

The Lieutenant Governor was the next to speak. She began by thanking everyone for all the concern shown during her recent healthcare experience. (She had a preventive double mastectomy in December.) She then shared that she is finished with all treatments and has been given a clean bill of health, which got a standing ovation from attendees at the dinner.

She then moved to talking about the upcoming election. Here are some noteworthy comments from her speech:

  • “One of the most important battles we have ever fought is coming this fall – protecting public education.”
  • “The governor told me we have to beat back that amendment. I told him No, I want to crush it.”
  • “We have to make sure every child, no matter their zip code, has that opportunity that we want them to have. And that begins in the classroom.”
  • “It’s also important that we make the people that voted for that amendment pay.”
  • “One of the things we pride ourselves on is, we show up. And our kids are the ones who need us to show up for them in November.”
  • “Andy Beshear is the kind of man that treats every kentucky family like his own.”

She concluded by introducing the governor as “Steve Beshear’s son, rather than Mitch McConnell’s puppet!”

Governor Andy Beshear

 The governor began his speech by calling out “Hello, Kentucky Democrats!” which got a big cheer from the crowd. He then punched out three winning lines, each of which got an even louder cheer:

  • “Last fall, we beat Donald Trump’s hand-picked candidate for governor!”
  • “Last fall, we beat Mitch McConnell’s protege!”
  • “And last fall, we beat Rand Paul’s chosen candidate in Warren County!”

By this time, the crowd was fired up even more, and continued to cheer his next three lines:

  • “We are going to pick up seats in our state legislature this November!”
  • “We’re going to elect the first black woman as a supreme court justice!”
  • “And, we’re going to soundly defeat Constitutional Amendment 2 and protect public education!”

After this rousing opening, he then we on to talk about his first term and plans for his second. He noted that “we are proud Democrats, but the moment we win we take that hat off and serve every Kentuckian.” He touted the record amount of investment in the state, and the explosive growth of new jobs. He noted the growth in union membership, which got another big cheer. He talked about the numbers going down in overdose rates, and the state setting records in tourism. He said, “What all this means is that we are building a better future for every family.”

Talking about the campaign last fall, he said “We never apologized for what we believe in,” and went on to specifically call out reproductive rights and LGBTQ rights.

He concluded by talking about his father, Steve Beshear, both as a father and as an elected official, and then introduced his father as one of the two keynote speakers for the evening.

Former Governor Steve Beshear

The former governor looked and sounded older, but he could still deliver a stem-winder of a speech.

He talked about how special Kentucky is, and how special the United State is – then said “This fall, we’ve got to make sure it stays a special state, and a special country.”

He spent a little time reciting the accomplishments of his administration, with the most notable being the 600,000 Kentuckians who got health care through the kynect program, our state’s implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The mention of that milestone got an enthusiastic standing ovation of its own.

He pointed out how his son was bypassing him in some areas, such as job growth, then said, “Think what we could do if we had a willing partner in the legislature.”

Talking about the Republicans in Frankfort, he noted that they “put themselves first and the people second.”

He called out, “We’ve got to hold this supermajority accountable!”

Former Alabama Senator Doug Jones

Senator Doug Jones of Alabama was the final speaker. For those who are not familiar with his work, here are some excerpts from his Wikipedia page:

Gordon Douglas Jones is an American attorney and politician who served as a United States senator from Alabama from 2018 to 2021. Jones was previously the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama from 1997 to 2001. Jones’s most prominent cases were the successful prosecution of two Ku Klux Klan members for the 1963 Birmingham church bombing that killed four African-American girls, and the indictment of domestic terrorist Eric Rudolph.

Jones began by saying “Some southern Democrats have lost our Democratic values. But Andy Beshear has not.”

He spent some time outlining all that Dems have done for the country, and specifically what President Biden has done during his time in office. He then called out the gaslighting about these accomplishments, and urged Democrats to tell the truth about all the good things the party is doing.

He concluded by talking about Project 2025 and how scary it is, and how we have to make sure Donald Trump is not reelected this fall.

Pictures from the Dinner


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Bruce Maples

Bruce Maples has been involved in politics and activism since 2004, when he became active in the Kerry Kentucky movement. (Read the rest of his bio on the Bruce Maples Bio page in the bottom nav bar.)

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