Trump-backed Daniel Cameron wins GOP primary for Kentucky governor, will face incumbent Democrat Andy Beshear
Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron has won the state's Republican gubernatorial primary and will face incumbent Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear in the November general election.
Cameron, a rising star in the party, came out on top in a crowded field of 12 Republican candidates that included former U.N. Ambassador Kelly Craft and Kentucky Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles.
His campaign had the backing of former President Donald Trump in a contentious race that served as a proxy fight between the Republican presidential front-runner and a number of other Republican heavyweights, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, who both backed Craft.
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Craft also had the high-profile endorsements of Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and House Oversight Committee Chair Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., while Quarles had the commanding support of Kentucky farmers.
Cameron will now face what is expected to be a tough fight against Beshear, who polls say is one of the most popular governors in the country despite being one of the nation's few Democrat governors of a red state.
The race is widely expected to be a bellwether for the 2024 presidential and congressional elections as Republicans hope to capitalize on the unpopularity of President Joe Biden and congressional Democrats.
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The super PAC supporting Trump's third run for the presidency released a statement once the race was called for Cameron, touting the win as proof of the former president's continued hold over the GOP.
"President Trump is the leader of the Republican Party. The results in Kentucky's Republican gubernatorial primary tonight reaffirm that. Republican voters stand with President Trump, not Ron DeSantis," Make America Great Again Inc. spokesperson Alex Pfeiffer said in a statement.
"It's time to unite around Donald Trump. Voters know that President Trump has their interests in mind when he endorses a candidate, not the interests of the consultant class," he added.
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Beshear responded to Cameron's victory in a statement, celebrating his own Democratic primary win and describing it as "a stark difference" from the Republican race.
"While they’re trying to pit us against each other, people in Kentucky know that this isn’t about right vs. left. It’s about getting things done," he said. "I want Kentucky to be a place where all of our kids have a future. As a father, this is personal. We all want our kids to be able to have opportunity and potential here in every part of our commonwealth."
"So, while tonight we celebrate, we’re also preparing for the road ahead. Together, we will win this election and build a Kentucky our kids deserve," he added.
Cameron avoided members of the media following his victory speech at the Galt House in downtown Louisville. Fox News Digital observed his campaign abruptly pull him away from the area in front of the stage where reporters were gathering to ask him questions and quickly usher him to another room.
His campaign also ignored requests for him to speak with Fox following his win.
The Associated Press called the race.