Andy Beshear

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Andy Beshear
Gov. Beshear of Kentucky 2020.jpg
63rd Governor of Kentucky
Assumed office
December 10, 2019
LieutenantJacqueline Coleman
Preceded byMatt Bevin
50th Attorney General of Kentucky
In office
January 4, 2016 – December 10, 2019
GovernorMatt Bevin
Preceded byJack Conway
Succeeded byDaniel Cameron
Personal details
Andrew Graham Beshear

(1977-11-29) November 29, 1977 (age 42)
Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Britainy Colman (m. 2006)
RelativesSteve Beshear (father)
ResidenceGovernor's Mansion
EducationVanderbilt University (BA)
University of Virginia (JD)
WebsiteGovernment website

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[edit]

Beshear is the son of Steve and Jane (Klingner) Beshear.[1] 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.[2]

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.[3][4] He represented the developers of the Bluegrass Pipeline, which would have transported natural gas through the state.[5]

Political career[edit]

Kentucky Attorney General[edit]

2015 Kentucky Attorney General election[edit]

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.[6][7] He defeated Republican Whitney Westerfield by a margin of 0.2 percent, getting 50.1% of the vote to Westerfield's 49.9%.[8][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.[10] 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.[11]

In April 2018, Beshear again successfully sued Bevin, this time for signing Senate Bill 151, a controversial plan to reform teacher pensions,[12][13] with the Supreme Court ruling the bill unconstitutional.[14]

By November 2018, Beshear had filed nine lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies for their alleged involvement in fueling Kentucky's opioid epidemic.[15]

Beshear joined 15 other attorneys general in December 2018 in opposing the ruling of a Texas judge that the Affordable Care Act was unconstitutional.[16] Beshear said that "for so many families the Affordable Care Act is a matter of life and death."[16]

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[edit]

2019 Kentucky Governor election[edit]

On July 9, 2018, Beshear declared his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for Governor of Kentucky in the 2019 election.[17] His running mate was Jacqueline Coleman, a nonprofit president, assistant principal, and former state house candidate.[18] In announcing his candidacy, Beshear said he would "make public education a priority."[13] In May 2019, he won the Democratic nomination with 38 percent of the vote in a three-way contest.[19][20]

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,[21][22] though the Associated Press called the race "too close to call" with less than half a percent of the vote separating them.[23][24][25] Beshear won by 0.37 percentage points, getting 49.20% of the vote to Bevin's 48.83%.[26] Days later, Bevin had not conceded the race, claiming large-scale voting "irregularities" but not offering evidence.[26] However, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes' office declared Beshear the winner.[27]

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.[28]


Beshear was inaugurated as governor at 12:01 a.m. on December 10, 2019.[29] 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.[30] 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.[31][32]

Beshear began overseeing the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic in early March 2020.[33] 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.[34]

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.[35][36]

Political positions[edit]

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.[37]

Criminal justice[edit]

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.[31]

Economic policy[edit]

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.[30]


Beshear supports a major pay raise for all teachers in Kentucky, who earn one of the lowest salaries of any teachers in the country.[30]


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.[38]


Beshear supports same-sex marriage and equal rights for LGBTQ people. When he was attorney general, 60% of his staff were minorities and women.[38]

Health care[edit]

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.[38]


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.[39]

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.[40]


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.[38]

Personal life[edit]

Beshear and his wife Britainy are both members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and serve as deacons.[41][42] They have two children.[3]

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.[43][44][45][46][47]

Electoral history[edit]

2015 Kentucky Attorney General Democratic Primary
Beshear ran uncontested.

Democratic primary Results[48]
Candidate Votes %
Andy Beshear Unopposed

2015 Kentucky Attorney General Election

Kentucky Attorney General election, 2015
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Andy Beshear 479,929 50.1%
Republican Whitney Westerfield 477,735 49.9%
Total votes 957,664 100.0%
Democratic hold

2019 Kentucky Gubernatorial Democratic Primary

Democratic Primary Results
Candidate Votes %
Andy Beshear 149,438 37.9%
Rocky Adkins 125,970 31.9%
Adam Edelen 110,159 27.9%
Geoff Young 8,923 2.3%
Total votes 394,490 100.0%

2019 Kentucky Gubernatorial Election

Kentucky gubernatorial election, 2019
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Andy Beshear 709,577 49.20%
Republican Matt Bevin (incumbent) 704,388 48.83%
Libertarian John Hicks 28,425 1.97%
Total votes 1,442,390 100.0%
Democratic gain from Republican


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  2. ^ "The Attorney General - Kentucky Attorney General". Archived from the original on August 5, 2019. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Profile: Meet Andy Beshear, the Democratic nominee for attorney general". Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  4. ^ "Beshear taps father's network in AG run". Paducah Sun. Archived from the original on October 20, 2015. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  5. ^ Bruggers, James (August 2, 2013). "Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear's son working for Bluegrass Pipeline developers". The Courier-Journal. Archived from the original on November 9, 2015. Retrieved November 3, 2015.
  6. ^ "Andy Beshear Announces Bid for Kentucky Attorney General". WFPL News. November 14, 2013. Archived from the original on July 26, 2014. Retrieved July 22, 2014.
  7. ^ "Andy Beshear breaks fundraising record for down-ballot 2015 race". CN2. October 3, 2013. Archived from the original on November 6, 2014. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
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  10. ^ Loftus, Tom (April 11, 2016). "AG Beshear sues to reverse Bevin university cuts". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved April 11, 2016.
  11. ^ "Ky. Supreme Court Rules Bevin Can't Cut Budget of Public Colleges, Universities". WKYT. September 21, 2016. Archived from the original on September 23, 2016. Retrieved September 21, 2016.
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  15. ^ Henry, Morgan (November 19, 2018). "Beshear files 9th lawsuit on opioid epidemic". ABC 36 News. Retrieved December 25, 2018.
  16. ^ a b "'It is a matter of life and death': Andy Beshear to fight ACA ruling". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved December 25, 2018.
  17. ^ "Andy Beshear becomes first to announce run for Kentucky governor". The Courier-Journal. July 9, 2018. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
  18. ^ "Jacqueline Coleman named Beshear's running mate". Kentucky Standard. 2018. Archived from the original on December 26, 2018.
  19. ^ Bailey, Phillip M. (May 21, 2019). "Andy Beshear Wins the Democratic primary for Kentucky governor". Louisville Courier-Journal. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  20. ^ "Andy Beshear wins Democratic nomination for governor". WKYT-TV. May 21, 2019. Archived from the original on May 22, 2019. Retrieved May 22, 2019.
  21. ^ Craven, Julia (November 6, 2019). "Beshear Beats Bevin in Kentucky Governor's Race". Slate. Archived from the original on November 6, 2019. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
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  23. ^ Barrow, Bill (November 5, 2019). "Kentucky governor race too close to call; Dems flip Virginia". Associated Press. Archived from the original on November 5, 2019. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  24. ^ Schreiner, Bruce (November 5, 2019). "Dem leads Kentucky governor's race that is too close to call". Associated Press. Archived from the original on November 5, 2019. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  25. ^ Nichols, David (November 5, 2019). "Beshear overcomes Trump effect to beat Bevin to become next KY governor". Lex 18 News. Archived from the original on November 6, 2019. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  26. ^ a b Coaston, Jane (November 8, 2019). "Matt Bevin's Libertarian opponent says the Kentucky election just proved his point". Vox. Retrieved November 10, 2019.
  27. ^ Bailey, Phillip M.; Tobin, Benjamin; Kobin, Billy; Ladd, Sarah (November 5, 2019). "Kentucky election results 2019: Follow along for live results from Bevin vs Beshear & more". Louisville Courier Journal. Retrieved November 5, 2019. Meanwhile, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes told CNN her office declared Beshear winner of governor race.
  28. ^ Ratliff, Melissa (November 14, 2019). "Gov. Bevin concedes election following recanvass". LEX 18 News. Archived from the original on November 14, 2019. Retrieved November 14, 2019.
  29. ^ "Gov.-elect Andy Beshear names transition team members". November 15, 2019. Retrieved November 25, 2019.
  30. ^ a b c "Andy Beshear Swearing In". WLKY News Louisville. Retrieved December 10, 2019 – via YouTube.
  31. ^ a b Gregorian, Dareh. "Kentucky Gov. Beshear to restore voting rights to over 100,000 former felons". NBC News. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  32. ^ "Senate Republican Leaders go after Andy Beshear's power with three new bills". Lexington Herald-Leader. 2020.
  33. ^ "Gov. Andy Beshear to provide coronavirus update at 12:30". WLEX. March 7, 2020. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  34. ^ Ladd, Sarah. "Police take license numbers, issue notices as Kentucky church holds in-person Easter service". USA TODAY. Louisville Courier-Journal. Retrieved April 13, 2020.
  35. ^ Diamond, Dan; Cancryn, Adam. "Kentucky governor vows universal coverage for black residents". POLITICO.
  36. ^ Coleman, Justine (June 9, 2020). "Kentucky governor outlines plan to provide health coverage for '100 percent' of black communities". The Hill.
  37. ^ Schreiner, Bruce (November 24, 2019). "Democrat Beshear looking for ways to bridge partisan divide". LEX18.
  38. ^ a b c d "On The Issues". Andy Beshear for Governor. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  39. ^ "Kentucky governor candidates face off in final debate". WLKY News Louisville. Retrieved December 10, 2019.
  40. ^ White, Douglas (August 27, 2019). "Beshear says 'we will build I-69 bridge in my first term'". Henderson Gleaner. Retrieved December 15, 2019.
  41. ^ "NAAG | Andy Beshear". Archived from the original on November 6, 2019. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  42. ^ Dwilson, Stephanie Dube (November 6, 2019). "Britainy Beshear, Andy Beshear's Wife: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Archived from the original on November 6, 2019. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  43. ^ Carrega, Christina (April 23, 2020). "Attorney arrested over social media threats against Kentucky governor". ABC News. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  44. ^ Kesslen, Ben (April 23, 2020). "Kentucky lawyer arrested for allegedly threatening governor over lockdown". NBC News. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  45. ^ Gstalter, Morgan (April 22, 2020). "Louisville attorney arrested for allegedly making threats against Democratic Kentucky governor". The Hill. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  46. ^ Barone, Vincent (April 23, 2020). "Lawyer arrested for allegedly threatening Kentucky Governor over lockdown". The New York Post. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  47. ^ Picht, Nick (April 22, 2020). "'It is free speech': Attorney of man arrested for allegedly threatening Beshear defends controversial Facebook comments". WAVE 3 News. Retrieved April 26, 2020.
  48. ^ "Official Election Results". Kentucky State Board of Elections. Retrieved May 20, 2015.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Jack Conway
Democratic nominee for Attorney General of Kentucky
Succeeded by
Greg Stumbo
Democratic nominee for Governor of Kentucky
Most recent
Legal offices
Preceded by
Jack Conway
Attorney General of Kentucky
Succeeded by
Daniel Cameron
Political offices
Preceded by
Matt Bevin
Governor of Kentucky
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Mike Pence
as Vice President
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as Governor of Vermont
Order of Precedence of the United States
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as Governor of Tennessee