|63rd Governor of Kentucky|
|Assumed office |
December 10, 2019
|Preceded by||Matt Bevin|
|50th Attorney General of Kentucky|
January 4, 2016 – December 10, 2019
|Preceded by||Jack Conway|
|Succeeded by||Daniel Cameron|
Andrew Graham Beshear
November 29, 1977
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
Britainy Colman (m. 2006)
|Relatives||Steve Beshear (father)|
|Education||Vanderbilt University (BA)|
University of Virginia (JD)
Andrew Graham Beshear (born November 29, 1977) is an American attorney and politician. Since December 2019, he has served as the 63rd Governor of Kentucky. A member of the Democratic Party, he is the son of Steve Beshear, the 61st Governor of Kentucky.
Beshear was elected attorney general of Kentucky in November 2015. As attorney general, Beshear sued Governor Matt Bevin several times over issues such as health care and pensions, before challenging and narrowly defeating Bevin in the 2019 gubernatorial election.
Early life and education
Beshear is the son of Steve and Jane (Klingner) Beshear. He grew up in Fayette, Franklin, and Clark counties and graduated from Henry Clay High School in Lexington, Kentucky. Steve Beshear was the Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky from 2007 to 2015.
Beshear attended Vanderbilt University, where he was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity and graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree in political science and anthropology. He then attended the University of Virginia School of Law, where he received his Juris Doctor. In 2005, he was hired by the law firm Stites & Harbison. He represented the developers of the Bluegrass Pipeline, which would have transported natural gas through the state.
Kentucky Attorney General
2015 Kentucky Attorney General election
In November 2013, Beshear announced his candidacy for the 2015 election for Attorney General of Kentucky to succeed Democrat Jack Conway, who could not run for reelection due to term limits. He defeated Republican Whitney Westerfield by a margin of 0.2 percent, getting 50.1% of the vote to Westerfield's 49.9%.
In April 2016, Beshear sued governor Matt Bevin over his mid-cycle budget cuts to the state university system, which Beshear said Bevin was not authorized to do. The Kentucky Supreme Court issued a 5-2 ruling agreeing with Beshear that Bevin did not have the authority to make mid-cycle budget cuts without the approval of the General Assembly.
In April 2018, Beshear again successfully sued Bevin, this time for signing Senate Bill 151, a controversial plan to reform teacher pensions, with the Supreme Court ruling the bill unconstitutional.
Beshear joined 15 other attorneys general in December 2018 in opposing the ruling of a Texas judge that the Affordable Care Act was unconstitutional. Beshear said that "for so many families the Affordable Care Act is a matter of life and death."
Beshear served just one term as Attorney General, foregoing a run for a second term in 2019 to run instead successfully for Governor. Beshear resigned from the Attorney General's office on December 10, 2019, to be sworn in as the 63rd Governor of Kentucky. He was replaced by Daniel Cameron on December 17.
Governor of Kentucky
2019 Kentucky Governor election
On July 9, 2018, Beshear declared his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for Governor of Kentucky in the 2019 election. His running mate was Jacqueline Coleman, a nonprofit president, assistant principal, and former state house candidate. In announcing his candidacy, Beshear said he would "make public education a priority." In May 2019, he won the Democratic nomination with 38 percent of the vote in a three-way contest.
Beshear and his campaign focused on local issues specific to Kentucky, such as Medicaid expansion, education funding, and pensions.
The night of the November 5 election, NBC News and other major outlets called Beshear the "apparent winner" over incumbent Republican Governor Matt Bevin, though the Associated Press called the race "too close to call" with less than half a percent of the vote separating them. Beshear won by 0.37 percentage points, getting 49.20% of the vote to Bevin's 48.83%. Days later, Bevin had not conceded the race, claiming large-scale voting "irregularities" but not offering evidence. However, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes' office declared Beshear the winner.
On November 14, 2019, Bevin conceded the election after a recanvass was performed at his request that resulted in just one single change, an additional vote for a write-in candidate.
Beshear was inaugurated as governor at 12:01 a.m. on December 10, 2019. In his inaugural address at the public ceremony later that day, Beshear called on Republicans, who have a supermajority in both houses of the Kentucky Legislature, to reach across the aisle and solve Kentucky's issues in a bipartisan way. Beshear fired all eleven members of Kentucky's state education board on his first day in office, all of whom had been appointed by his predecessor, Matt Bevin, promising a fresh start. On December 12, 2019, Beshear signed an executive order to restore voting rights to all adults in Kentucky who have been convicted of non-violent felonies who have served their sentence, affecting over 156,000 eligible individuals.
Beshear began overseeing the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic in early March 2020. There has been contentious political debate over his decision to dispatch state troopers to record the license plate numbers or VINs of persons that violated the state's stay-at-home order to attend in-person Easter Sunday church services in April.
In June 2020, Beshear announced his resolve to work towards universal health care for all African-American residents of Kentucky in an attempt to resolve health care inequities which came to light during the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Beshear is seen as a moderate Democrat. Both his social and fiscal beliefs are seen as left-leaning. However, he has expressed his desire and intent to work with Republicans across the aisle on all issues. Many of his newly-appointed cabinet members are registered Republicans.
As Kentucky Attorney General, Beshear fought companies responsible for Kentucky's opioid crisis and got US$9.5 million in settlements for 16 treatment centers across the state. Beshear signed an executive order as governor to completely restore the voting rights of those convicted of non-violent felonies, as the law preventing them to vote is widely seen as an unfair tactic to suppress the African American vote, as 4 percent of African American adults in Kentucky are convicted non-violent felons. The executive order restored voting rights to over 100,000 people in Kentucky.
Beshear states that he wants to bring more advanced manufacturing jobs to Kentucky to offset job losses due to the decline of coal. In addition, Beshear wants to increase the number of health care jobs in the state. Beshear opposes the right-to-work law signed by his predecessor, Matt Bevin.
Beshear supports a major pay raise for all teachers in Kentucky, who earn one of the lowest salaries of any teachers in the country.
Beshear accepts the scientific consensus that global warming and climate change are real and caused by humans. Beshear wants to create more clean energy jobs to employ those who got laid off of their coal jobs. Beshear wants to expand clean coal technology in Kentucky.
Beshear supports Kentucky's Medicare expansion, which provides affordable health care to over 500,000 Kentuckians, including all people with pre-existing conditions. Beshear criticized his predecessor, Matt Bevin, for trying to roll back the state's Medicaid expansion (which ultimately failed). As Attorney General and Governor, Beshear repeatedly expressed support for the Affordable Care Act (known as Obamacare) and has criticized efforts to strike the law down in the courts.
Beshear supports the project to replace the structurally deficient Brent Spence Bridge that carries Interstates 71 and 75 over the Ohio River between Covington, KY and Cincinnati, OH. The project has long been delayed, and the bridge is considered to be the most critical transportation link in the state of Kentucky. Beshear has expressed willingness to work with Ohio governor Mike DeWine, a Republican, to start the project. Beshear hopes to fund the bridge through conventional means and not tolling, however, he is unsure if the state has the funds to do that.
Beshear has also expressed support for the construction of the Interstate 69 Ohio River Bridge between Henderson, Kentucky and Evansville, Indiana. He has stated that the project would be a priority for his first term, believing it would provide economic benefits to Western Kentucky.
Beshear supports expanding gaming and gambling in Kentucky to help fund the state's pension system, which has accumulated US$24 billion in debt since 2000, the most of any state in the country. Beshear opposes pension cuts made by his predecessor, Matt Bevin, and wants to guarantee all workers pensions for when they retire.
On April 21, 2020, an attorney from Louisville, Kentucky, named James Gregory Troutman was arrested by Kentucky State Police and charged with one count of third-degree terroristic threatening for allegedly writing social media posts that were deemed as threats against Governor Andy Beshear's life, with one of the posts alluding to the 1900 assassination of William Goebel.
2015 Kentucky Attorney General Democratic Primary
Beshear ran uncontested.
2015 Kentucky Attorney General Election
2019 Kentucky Gubernatorial Democratic Primary
2019 Kentucky Gubernatorial Election
|Republican||Matt Bevin (incumbent)||704,388||48.83%|
|Democratic gain from Republican|
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Meanwhile, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes told CNN her office declared Beshear winner of governor race.
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|Party political offices|
| Democratic nominee for Attorney General of Kentucky
| Democratic nominee for Governor of Kentucky
| Attorney General of Kentucky
| Governor of Kentucky
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