Kentucky governor’s debate gets contentious on economics, crime and abortion

Economy, crime hot topics during Kentucky governor's debate on Tuesday
Published: Oct. 24, 2023 at 8:15 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 24, 2023 at 9:28 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WXIX) - Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and Attorney General Daniel Cameron turned up the heat during their latest debate on Tuesday, clashing and arguing over each other on nearly every debate topic, especially the economy.

While all topics were hot, the hottest included crime and abortion.

Cameron, in his final statement, said the election was about “crazy versus normal.”

“It’s crazy to have a governor who endorsed Joe Biden, who shut down businesses during COVID, who endorses biological males in female sports,” he said. “We can make this Commonwealth a shining city on a hill and a model for the country.”

Beshear countered: “We have been through a lot - a pandemic, a tornado, windstorms [...] But we are ranked No. 2 in per capita development, and we have created 40,000 jobs at the highest income levels. Someone who is partisan will stop that. Talking normal vs. crazy, it’s crazy we wouldn’t have a governor who will say he will endorse exceptions that would protect kids as young as 9 from rape.”


Kentucky’s economy was the biggest topic of the debate as Beshear marketed his record on bringing development to the state. The Office of State Budget Director reported 14.6% growth in revenue over the last year in 2022.

Beshear said it was his ability to work across party lines that helped him achieve this and bring major companies like Ford and Amazon to the state.

However, Cameron faulted him for inflation and not putting more money in the pockets of Kentucky residents.

“My plan is to eliminate Kentucky’s income tax,” Cameron said. “At the end of the day, this is a philosophical difference. The governor wants the government to have more of your money. I want you to have more of your money.”

In addition, the attorney general said his relationship with Republicans in the state legislature would get bills passed and move the state forward.


Cameron hit Beshear for commutations he had given criminals during the COVID-19 pandemic and putting the state into a temporary lockdown in 2020.

“You don’t feel safer because this governor put thousands of criminals back on the street,” Cameron said. “It’s the main reason the Kentucky Fraternal Order of Police endorsed me. They trust me to keep the streets safe.”

During the 2019 gubernatorial race against former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, Beshear was endorsed by the union, but lost the endorsement in this election.

But Beshear later blasted Cameron for not using his status as the state attorney general to work closer with officials in Louisville in order to address violent crime.

He also repeatedly hit Cameron for not saying he would personally pass exceptions to the state abortion law, which he called the most draconian in the country.

Cameron countered by saying he would pass any exceptions the legislature put on his desk.

Watch the full debate here:

See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Please click here to report it.

Do you have a photo or video of a breaking news story? Send it to us here with a brief description.