The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

Representing Kentucky: Kentucky’s Governor Race

Kentucky Gubernatorial Candidates Daniel Cameron and Andy Beshear.(Image Provided by CNN)

2023 marks the recurrence of the Kentucky Governor’s election. This year, on November 7, voters will choose to cast their ballots towards one of the two sides of the race.

The Republican nominee is Attorney General Daniel Cameron, and the Democratic nominee is current Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear.

While both Candidates are holding strong campaigns, current Governor Andy Beshear leads in polls by an average of 7.8 points.

“He has several built-in advantages,” said government teacher Megan Boimann-Hennies.

When taking a look at the advantages Beshear currently has, the number one advantage seen is the incumbent that is seeking re-election.

“Andy Beshear has been Governor for the past four or five years, he has a lot of name recognition for being Governor,” said Boimann-Hennies.

As the Governor of Kentucky, residents of Kentucky often see Governor Beshear’s name pop up in local press.

“He doesn’t need to do much campaigning because his name is always in the press, he is always doing something,” said Boimann-Hennies

In the wake of coming to power at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, he was recognized for taking a lead with stronger lock-down policies. This led to Beshear appearing on several national news shows and articles.

Taking a look at some of the policies from both sides, Attorney General Daniel Cameron plans to implement what he calls his Cameron Catch-Up Plan if elected as governor.

The goal of this educational based plan is to “catch-up” students on their education that was missed during the pandemic.

“As a result of Andy Beshear’s lockdowns, our students are facing generational learning loss,” said Cameron.

Cameron further elaborated that due to these lockdowns, Kentucky has seen lower test scores in state tests. 

According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and the Kentucky Department of Education, fewer than half of Kentucky students are proficient in math or can read on grade level. Only 29% are proficient in science.

He also points out that because of these lockdowns, students have missed way more school than prior to the pandemic.

Originally when Beshear ran in 2019 against Matt Bevin, a major part of his campaign was education.

According to, The Governor’s plan aims to address student learning loss brought on by the pandemic and years of denied pay raises that have contributed to the state’s nearly 11,000 public school teacher vacancies, by providing funding for a 5% pay raise for school staff, universal pre-K, textbooks, technology and training, teacher student loan forgiveness and social and mental health services. 

The Governor is also asking lawmakers to consider restoring new teacher pensions, which he said is the single most effective action we can take to keep new teachers in the classroom.

Kentucky as a state has typically leaned on the red side for years. However, in 2019 the state elected a democratic governor seen in Beshear’s platform.

In a Governor debate, Attorney General Cameron said, “What Andy Beshear and I do agree on, is this race isn’t about Republican or Democrat. It’s about crazy vs normal.”

While this quote seems quite relative, Cameron elaborated by pointing out how Beshear has supported President Biden, calling Governor Beshear crazy for his choice.

As tensions rise, the election comes closer and closer. With the newer generation on the cusp of voting, advertising has started to attempt to pull in these younger audiences.

“I think because younger voters are the least likely to vote, campaigns often dismiss them,” said Boimann-Hennies.

According to Circle.Tufts.Edu. 21.8% of Kentucky’s youth voted in 2022.

“I think particularly gubernatorial candidates could do a better job by reaching out to youth through the avenues the people their age communicate with.”

Though the deadline has passed to register to vote for the 2023 year, you can register to vote at

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