Quick Takes

Beshear files to run for second term, GOP assembling large field of prospective challengers

By: - December 5, 2022 5:31 pm

Kentucky Governor’s Mansion. Who’ll live here next year? (Photo by Getty Images)

It’s official — Gov. Andy Beshear will seek a second term. 

The Democratic incumbent filed his candidacy papers Monday afternoon with the Kentucky Secretary of State’s office. He filed initial paperwork to announce his reelection campaign in October 2021. He has raised more than $4.5 million, according to reports filed with the Kentucky Registry of  Election Finance.

Governor Andy Beshear

“Today with Britainy, Will, Lila and my parents by my side, I filed to run for re-election for Governor of our great commonwealth,” Beshear wrote on his personal Facebook page. “(Lt. Gov.) Jacqueline Coleman and I remain committed to building a better Kentucky for all our families.”

Beshear was elected to his first term in 2019 against then-incumbent Republican Gov. Matt Bevin. 

Beshear isn’t alone in the Democratic primary. Last week, Peppy Martin filed initial paperwork to campaign for governor, according to the Registry of Election Finance. Martin previously won the 1999 Republican gubernatorial nomination, but lost to Democrat Gov. Paul E. Patton. 

A dozen Republicans are vying to take on Beshear in the November 2023 election.

The 12 announced candidates in the Republican gubernatorial field include Attorney General Daniel Cameron, former U.S. Ambassador Kelly Craft, Auditor of Public Accounts Mike Harmon, Somerset Mayor Alan Keck, state Rep. Savannah Maddox and Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles. Other Republicans who have filed initial paperwork are Anthony Moore, Johnny Rice, Eric Deters and Robert Devore.

Two Republican candidates filed their candidacy papers last month, David Cooper and Robbie Smith. 

In response to reports about Beshear’s filing Monday, the Republican Party of Kentucky issued a statement that said the incumbent and the Democratic Party “do not represent Kentucky’s values.” 

“During his time in office, Andy Beshear has vetoed a tax cut during 40-year high inflation, embraced a woke agenda on race and gender, and presided over an incredible loss in learning for our students,” RPK spokesman Sean Southard said. “In 2022, Kentuckians rejected him and the Democrat Party by flipping the voter registration advantage to Republicans and sending a record number of our candidates into office. The fundamentals are strong for a Republican candidate to defeat him, and we stand ready to support our nominee once the primary process is concluded. In 2023, the Andy Beshear show will have its final season.”

Geoff Young, another Democrat, announced plans to run for governor but has not filed any paperwork as of Monday. Young previously ran for governor in the 2015 and 2019 Democratic primaries. Last month, he lost to Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Barr in the 6th Congressional District.  

Kentucky’s deadline to file for office is Friday, Jan. 6, 2023. The primary election is Tuesday, May 16, 2023. 


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McKenna Horsley
McKenna Horsley

McKenna Horsley covers state politics for the Kentucky Lantern. She previously worked for newspapers in Huntington, West Virginia, and Frankfort, Kentucky. She is from northeastern Kentucky.