Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear wins reelection

Gov. Andy Beshear speaks to supporters outside of his reelection campaign stop in Bowling Green
Jacob Martin
WKU Public Radio
Gov. Andy Beshear speaks to supporters outside of his reelection campaign stop in Bowling Green

Kentucky voters have reelected Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear, according to the Associated Press.

Beshear beat Republican state Attorney General Daniel Cameron.

The contest had been closely followed, as Beshear fought to hold onto the governorship in the deep red state against Cameron. Issues like abortion access, the state of the economy and culture war topics dominated the race.

Cameron tried to use his endorsement from former President Donald Trump and Kentuckians' high disapproval of President Biden to propel him across the finish line.

If elected, Cameron would've been Kentucky's first Black governor and the first Black Republican governor in the country since Reconstruction.

Despite being a blue dot in a very red state government, Beshear's popularity has remained high. A recent Morning Consult poll found 43% of Kentucky Republicans approve of Beshear.

Beshear, 45, has been able to create a unique brand for himself. Even before he first ran for office in 2015, his family name was familiar to many Kentuckians. His father, Steve Beshear, has been involved in state politics since 1974 and served as governor from 2007 to 2015.

Andy Beshear received attention and praise from voters for his leadership through the COVID-19 pandemic, deadly tornadoes, record flooding and ice storms.

Beshear, who won the governor's race in 2019, made increasing abortion access a focal point of his campaign, an unexpected move for a Democrat in the socially conservative state.

But Kentucky voters have already shown a willingness to vote against anti-abortion-rights measures. Last year, Kentuckians rejected adding language to the state constitution that would make it harder to challenge abortion restrictions.

Abortion has proved a winning issue for Democrats since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year. Beshear specifically focused on adding exceptions for rape and incest to Kentucky's law, which currently only allows abortion if the mother is at immediate risk of death or permanent injury.

This year's gubernatorial race has also been one of the most expensive in state history. The two candidates and their supporting political action committees spent more than 59 million dollars since the primary, double the amount that was spent in the previous gubernatorial race.

Kentucky voters have a habit of gauging the national mood. The winning parties of the state's last six gubernatorial elections have matched the presidential election results a year later.

Beshear's win could signal hope for the beleaguered party, which once maintained its own steadfast control of the state.

Sylvia is Kentucky Public Radio's Capitol reporter. Email her at