A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Andy Beshear makes it official: On a tour around state, he announces his bid for governor’s office

Democrat Andy Beshear started a statewide tour today and Tuesday to talk about the “future of Kentucky” with the announcement he will run for governor.

Attorney General Andy Beshear makes it official: He’s running for governor. (Kentucky Today/Tom Latek)

He pledged to bring Kentuckians together to invest in public education, attract better-paying jobs, more aggressively tackle the opioid epidemic and restore government accountability.
 
Beshear, 40, and his running mate, educator Jacqueline Coleman, 36, of Harrodsburg, announced their campaign to restore dignity and transparency to Frankfort on a two-day, seven-city swing around Kentucky.
 
“I have poured my heart and soul into being attorney general because I love Kentucky,” Beshear said. “I was born and raised in this state, graduated from its public schools and my wife Britainy and I chose it as the place we would perform our most important job – raising our children. As governor, I will work every day to bring Kentuckians together to tackle our most pressing problems.”
 
In a press release from his campaign, Beshear said leaders in Frankfort are placing their own interests ahead of the interests of regular Kentuckians. “We need a new generation of leadership willing to listen and work with people, not bully them and say it’s my way or the highway.”
 
As governor, Beshear said he would work to fund every public school and public university in a way that creates true opportunity for our children. Teachers would be treated with respect, their retirements would be honored and they will have a seat at the table because they educate and care for our state’s most precious resource – our children.
 
Beshear said he will continue his fight in the drug epidemic, bringing his success in launching the opioid disposal program, funding treatment and suing opioid makers to the Governor’s Office, where he could make even more progress.
 
Beshear stated another key focus would be creating good-paying jobs. At a time when Kentucky has some of the lowest paying jobs and lowest wage growth in the country, Beshear promised to bring to Kentucky the types of jobs that pay enough for our families to live on.
 
In order “to get back to doing the right thing simply because it is the right thing to do,” Beshear pledges to restore honesty and transparency in government by instituting one of the nation’s toughest ethics codes and pushing for legislative term limits.
 
“These are big goals, but we can achieve them if we work together and trust one another,” Beshear said. “I’m blessed that in making this announcement and commitment, I’m supported by the best family anyone could ask for as well as the best running mate.”
 
A fifth-generation Mercer Countian, Coleman has worked over a decade in public education, serving as a teacher, high school basketball coach, and administrator.
 
Coleman began her teaching career at Burgin High School before moving on to East Jessamine High School. She’s currently an assistant principal at Nelson County High School. Coleman played college basketball and has been a staunch advocate for public education and empowering young women.
 
“Frankfort is broken, and as Kentuckians, we can no longer allow our government to blindside us time and time again at the cost of our children’s future,” Coleman said. “We need a change and that’s why I’m running with Andy. His fight to protect our families has made him an outsider in Frankfort, and his passion and conviction for Kentucky is the one thing that will truly restore open and honest government that will once again work for each and every one of us.”
 
As attorney general, Beshear has fought for families who have lost loved ones to Kentucky’s opioid epidemic. He has sued six opioid manufacturers and distributors, provided $8 million in funding to 15 drug treatment centers statewide and launched an opioid disposal prevention program aimed at eliminating 2.2 million opioids sitting in household medicine cabinets across the state.
 
Beshear has given a voice to survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse by establishing the nation’s first survivors council, and by pledging to test every rape kit across Kentucky through $4.5 million in state funding to the KSP Crime Lab and by securing nearly $3 million in federal funding to create


Other Democrats being talked about as potential contenders include House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer, former State Auditor Crit Luallen, former Attorney General Jack Conway,  U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, and Kentucky broadcast personality Matt Jones.

Gov. Bevin hasn’t yet said whether he will run for a second term.

The filing deadline isn’t until the end of January.


Two longshot Republican candidates have filed their intent to run with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance.


No Democratic slates have filed.


If Beshear runs for governor, he will be following in the footsteps of his father, Steve Beshear, who was Kentucky’s governor between 2007 and 2015.

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