FRANKFORT, Ky. — With twelve GOP candidates on the ballot Tuesday vying to be Kentucky’s next Governor, voters from across the state turned out and selected Daniel Cameron as the Republican nominee to face current Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear, who easily won his primary race.
The crowded GOP primary has been an expensive and sometimes ugly fight with millions of dollars spent and swings taken from many top candidates.
The leading Republican candidates included Cameron, former United Nations and Canadian ambassador Kelly Craft, current Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, Somerset Mayor Alan Keck, and current state Auditor Mike Harmon.
Cameron mainly ran on winning court cases as the state’s current Attorney General against the Biden and Beshear administrations and often touted an endorsement from former President Donald Trump.
Polling in the days leading up to the primary election showed him a significant lead over the other candidates.
All other statewide constitutional offices were also on the ballot.
In the Republican primary for Agriculture Commissioner, former House Majority Leader and Mitch McConnell 2020 campaign chair and farmer from Garrad County Jonathan Shell won over current state Rep. Richard Heath, chair of the House Agriculture Committee. On the Democratic side, economic development consultant Sierra Enlow defeated microbiologist Mikael Malone. Shell and Enlow will face off in November for the seat Ryan Quarles holds.
A three-way GOP primary for state Treasurer ended in the victory of Mark Metcalf, the Garrard County attorney who just began his sixth four-year term as the local prosecutor. Metcalf defeated OJ Oleka, the top deputy in the office of outgoing 2-term state Treasurer Allison Ball and Andrew Cooperrider, a coffee shop owner who attempted to impeach Gov. Beshear over pandemic restrictions. Democrat Michael Bowman ran unopposed in the primary for Treasurer and will face Metcalf in the fall. Bowman ran for the office in 2019 and was defeated.
Current state Treasurer Allison Ball is on her way out of the office after serving two terms and won the GOP primary for state Auditor on Tuesday night. Democrat Kimberly Reeder did not face a primary office opponent and now moves on to the general election.
Another interesting GOP primary happened in the race for Secretary of State where current office holder Michael Adams faced and defeated two Republican opponents, Stephen Knipper, who ran for the office previously and toured the state discussing his belief of election mishandling, and Allen Maricle, who runs many local radio stations. Adams won his re-election bid by a healthy margin and now moves on to a race against current Democratic state Rep. Charles “Buddy” Wheatley, who did not face a primary opponent for the office.
The race for Attorney General was not on the ballot as Republican Russell Coleman and current Democratic state Rep. Pamela Stevenson were the only candidates and will face off in November.
Additionally, a special election was held to fill the 28th District state Senate seat formerly held by Ralph Alvarado, who now serves as Tennessee Commissioner of Health. Republican Greg Elkins, CEO of Central Kentucky Hauling, won that race against Democratic candidate Robert Sainte and Independent Richard Henderson.