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After long campaigns, Kentucky's gubernatorial candidates meet for a final debate

Two men in suits stand at lecterns on a television set. The man on the left is Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, a Republican. The man on the right is Democratic incumbent Gov. Andy Beshear. They are at a televised political debate.
Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron, left, and Democratic incumbent Gov. Andy Beshear debate in Lexington.

The two candidates for the state’s top job in government faced off Tuesday night. The televised debate between Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear and Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron was expected to be the last such appearance before Election Day.

The hour-long debate, hosted by WKYT started with talk of the state’s economy. Challenger Cameron said, for many, the economy’s on life support. Incumbent Beshear said the Commonwealth’s coming off the two best years for economic development. On the topic of workforce openings, Beshear pointed to more early education.

“The very first thing that we can do is universal pre-K for all four-year-olds. When they did it in Washington D.C. it got people back into the workforce quickly. It is the fastest way,” said Beshear.

Cameron said part of the answer is seeing more people respond to an opportunity for a job.

“If you’re at home and not working, able-bodied individuals need to get back into the workforce. I talk to so many employers that need folks to come and work in their facilities,” said Cameron.

On the question of law enforcement, Cameron said he proposes retention and recruitment bonuses, a stand-alone car-jacking statute, and a state police post in Louisville. Beshear said state police raises are working, he proposes a $20 million body armor fund, adding he sent the National Guard to the border under both Presidents Trump and Biden.

Regarding continuing opioid overdoses, Beshear said, as attorney general, he sued more drug manufacturers than any other AG in the U.S.

“We won’t get anywhere by blaming this party or that party. Let’s put the blame where it belongs on the opioid manufacturers and distributors that sent thousands of pills for every man woman and child into small communities,” said Beshear.

Cameron said he’s proud to be the AG helping to bring $900 million in settlement money to the state to fight the epidemic, but it’s not the entire solution.

 “The money is not an end all be all, a magic elixir. It’s not a magic wand that we can wave to end this, but it is a significant down payment in addressing an affliction that has plagued our people for far too long,” said Cameron.

Election day is Nov. 7. Early unexcused voting gets underway Nov. 2.

Copyright 2023 WEKU. To see more, visit WEKU.

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