Candidates for governor share their campaign platforms

Candidates for governor share their campaign platforms
Published: Aug. 12, 2023 at 10:34 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Election Day is just under three months away, but the governor’s race is already heating up.

The day-to-day campaign stops and banter between Governor and Democratic nominee Andy Beshear and current Attorney General and Republican candidate Daniel Cameron often focus on two key topics: crime and issues pertaining to the LGBTQ community.

“Under a Cameron administration, we will prioritize the safety of hardworking, law-abiding citizens again and we will talk about the profession of law enforcement honorably again. And we will put bad people in jail, and we will keep them there,” said Republican nominee Daniel Cameron.

Cameron’s 12-point crime reduction plan includes increased penalties for drug traffickers, developing a $5,000 recruitment and retention bonus for officers and building a culture that respects, supports and highlights police publicly.

“While this list is not exhaustive, these initiatives directly address the rise of crime, drug trafficking and overdoses and the need to retain and recruit officers in our commonwealth,” said Cameron. “Under a Cameron administration, Kentucky will be the best place in America to be a police officer.”

This week Beshear added his crime plan to the mix.

“It’s one thing to say you ‘back the blue,’ and it’s another to do something about it; to provide the resources, to take the steps that improve public safety,” said Beshear.

Beshear’s plan includes bolstering pension benefits for officers, providing an additional $2,500 bonus for Kentucky State Police officers and $20 million in body armor funding.

“Heroes like these deserve the best wages, the best benefits, the best training, and that is exactly what my budget proposal will do,” said Beshear.

Earlier this week, a newly released letter from University of Kentucky Chief Physician Executive Jay Grider to State Rep. James Tipton claimed U.K.’s Transform Clinic has not performed genital gender reassignment surgery on minors. However, they say they have performed a small number of non-genital gender reassignment surgeries on minors.

Weeks prior, Beshear denied any gender reassignment surgeries had taken place in Kentucky.

“I have never supported gender reassignment surgery for kids, and those procedures don’t happen here in Kentucky,” said Beshear.

The leaked letter added fuel to Cameron’s allegations that Beshear lied about his stance on the surgeries.

On Tuesday, a spokesperson for Beshear’s campaign denied knowledge of the surgeries.

“No reports from the medical community of such surgeries have been provided to the governor’s office,” according to the statement.

In March, Governor Beshear vetoed Senate Bill 150. The bill would have banned discussion of sexual orientation in schools, required schools to create policies banning transgender students from using bathrooms aligned with their gender identities and banned gender affirming medical care for transgender youths.

Beshear said the bill allowed for too much government interference. Cameron believes he made the wrong choice.

“When it came to banning access to these life-altering surgeries and drugs for kids, Beshear had a clear and easy choice. To sign the bill to protect Kentucky’s kids or to veto it. He chose to veto it,” said Cameron.

However, Beshear said he would have signed a more targeted bill against gender reassignment surgeries.

“I would have signed a bill that solely prohibited a gender assignment surgeries for minors had it reached my desk,” said Beshear.

To hear more directly from Beshear and Cameron, tune in to WKYT on October 24th at 7 p.m., when both candidates will face off in-studio to discuss issues that matter most to Kentuckians.