The race for Kentucky attorney general is one of the most hotly contested elections of 2019. While Kentuckians closely watch the governor’s race, many view this year’s attorney general race as the first real chance for a Republican to take that office in more than 70 years.
Republican newcomer Daniel Cameron is going head-to-head with Democrat Greg Stumbo, who served in the office of attorney general in 2004 and served in legislative leadership for many years. Both candidates sat down with The Bottom Line to discuss the race, their priorities, and what they expect in the coming weeks.
Below is the interview with Republican Daniel Cameron, a native of Elizabethtown, Kentucky who is a practicing attorney with Frost, Brown, Todd, LLC. Cameron has also served as legal counsel to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and practiced law as an attorney for Stites and Harbison after starting his career serving as a law clerk to the Honorable Gregory Van Tatenhove, a United States District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Kentucky.
VIDEO BELOW: Republican Daniel Cameron says he sees the role of attorney general as Kentucky’s chief law enforcement officer and noted the office is independently elected by the citizens of the state and therefore, he feels, should be independent of who is in the governor’s office and the politics and policies of the General Assembly.
“The public safety challenges we have here in the Commonwealth really don’t have a Republican or Democrat designation by them. So, I am willing to work with whoever wants to help improve the public safety outcomes we have,” Cameron said. “And my responsibility is to the United States constitution and the Kentucky constitution and I look forward to meeting that obligation.”
Kentucky has not had a Republican attorney general since 1948. When asked what it would mean for the state if he is elected in November, Cameron said it would mean the office is held by someone who has the same values as the majority of Kentuckians and is prioritizing protection of the rule of law. He added he feels most people in Kentucky are looking to de-politicize the office and get back to what he calls the “bread and butter basics” including being a partner to state and federal law enforcement and defending and enforcing the laws passed by the General Assembly.
“It has been a while since we’ve had someone who looks at this job and recognizes the great importance that it has in the administration of the government of the Commonwealth. I look forward to providing continuity and stability in the attorney general’s office because I don’t think we’ve had that in a while,” Cameron said.
In recent years, many laws passed by Kentucky’s legislature have been challenged by current Attorney General Andy Beshear for different reasons, one of which being procedural issues. While the practices of passing bills with new language in the final days of the legislative session and other tactics have been used for many years, these types of lawsuits had not been prevalent until Republicans gained control of the state House, Senate, and governor’s office while a Democrat was in the office of attorney general.
Cameron said he believes Beshear filed many of those lawsuits not for the people of Kentucky but instead to give him a platform to run for governor. Cameron stated he feels his responsibility in the role would be the defend and uphold laws passed by those elected lawmakers while also improving public safety outcomes.
When it comes to the differences between Cameron and his Democratic opponent Greg Stumbo, former Kentucky attorney general who also served as speaker of the House, Cameron said he feels he offers a new and bold vision for the office.
“Meanwhile, my opponent, Mr. Stumbo, offers more broken promises, more broken leadership, a broken Frankfort, a broken pension system,” Cameron said (at 10:00 in the video below). “I think Kentuckians are tired of the politics of the past and the infighting that we have seen in Frankfort. They want a new start in the attorney general’s office. And that’s what we are offering with the Cameron campaign.”
Watch the full interview with Republican candidate Daniel Cameron in the video below to hear more about his views on what role the attorney general plays in the Commonwealth, his priorities, an action plan for addressing the state’s opioid crisis, and more: