Trump throws weight behind Daniel Cameron in gubernatorial race

Mark Payne
Mark Payne
Mark Payne is the government and politics reporter for LINK nky. Email him at [email protected]

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Former President Donald Trump threw his proverbial weight behind Attorney General Daniel Cameron by endorsing the Republican gubernatorial candidate 11 months before the primary election in May of 2023. 

“A young star is born before our very eyes, his name is Daniel Cameron,” wrote Trump in a statement. “The Attorney General of the Great Commonwealth of Kentucky, and he has just announced he is running for governor.” 

Earlier in the day, Cameron’s campaign released an internal poll showing him with a commanding lead in the Republican primary with 37 percent of the vote from those polled. Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles came in second with seven percent; Rep. Savannah Maddox (R-Dry Ridge) at six percent; Auditor Mike Harmon at three percent; and former NKY attorney Eric Deters and former U.N. Ambassador Kelly Craft polling at two percent. 

Craft never officially announced her campaign, but many suspected the former Trump staffer would make the run for Kentucky’s top seat. 

In the past, Trump endorsed Maddox, and when she announced her candidacy earlier in June she told LINK nky that she wasn’t sure what the former president would do, but he had endorsed her in the past. 

“I have no idea of knowing what President Trump will do in the future, but I do know he has endorsed me in the past,” Maddox said. 

Cameron is no stranger to fighting with the current administration. Earlier this week, he filed a lawsuit against Gov. Andy Beshear’s administration for failing to implement House Bill 3, the omnibus abortion bill that passed during the 2022 legislative session. 

In May, Kentucky Democrats filed an ethics complaint against Cameron the day after he announced his run for governor. 

“While Andy Beshear utilized the attorney general’s office to protect Kentuckians, to fight the opioid epidemic, arrest record numbers of child predators, protect seniors from scams and create a sexual assault cold case unit — Daniel Cameron is using public office and public resources to target political opponents,” said KDP Chair Colmon Elridge in May. “Those resources should be used to protect the people of Kentucky – not to prepare for an election. Cameron spent more time and resources going after a Democratic governor than he did investigating Matt Bevin for pardoning hundreds of criminals including those whose family contributed to Bevin’s campaign.”  

The endorsement from Trump could potentially change the makeup of the race with Trump saying the Kentucky AG is tough on crime, strong on military and vets, a fierce defender of the border, and protects the second amendment. 

“At every level, Daniel has stood out, he will be a Great Governor of Kentucky, and has my Complete and Total Endorsement!” Trump said. 

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