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Beshear campaigns in Salyersville

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SALYERSVILLE – The Democratic candidate for governor and current Attorney General Andy Beshear stopped in Salyersville last week, meeting with voters at the community center and urging them to vote for change in next month’s election.

A reception was held on Monday, September 30 at the Lloyd M. Hall Community Center, with many in the community coming out to support Beshear in his race for the governor’s seat.

Representative Rocky Adkins, who lost in the Primary Election to Beshear, spoke at the event in support of Beshear, urging voters that a vote for Beshear will mean Eastern Kentucky will have a “seat at the table.”

“During our campaign, Andy Beshear and I had not one bad word to say about each other,” Adkins said. “We ran a clean campaign and we talked about the issues. There’s a lot at stake in November and I think the agenda of Matt Bevin is an agenda that’s not been good for Kentucky.”

Adkins discussed Governor Matt Bevin’s choices made in regards to public education, state workers’ pensions and jobs, stating, “His disrespect for our teachers and our education community, and in this crowd tonight you’ve got a whole lot of building trades – organized labor folks – here tonight and this governor’s agenda and bad policies have hurt hard-working families across Kentucky and it’s not good. Not only for those families, but it’s not good for the economy of Kentucky.”

He mentioned Bevin’s actions taken in regards to repealing the Affordable Care Act, stating, “I am a 24-year cancer survivor and this governor is trying to take 100,000 people off the healthcare roles. I don’t believe that’s good for the quality of health of our people of Kentucky, nor do I believe it’s good for the healthcare industry, where thousands of people work throughout Kentucky as nurses, secretaries and doctors. A promise made is a promise kept.”

Adkins talked about Bevin attempting to privatize public pensions, as well as closing the Capitol building to the public during committee meetings or when public groups protested in Frankfort.

“I believe it’s time to bring a new agenda to the governor’s office of Kentucky and I think we ought to be able open up the capitol instead of shutting it down, keeping people standing outside in the cold and showing disrespect, calling our teachers and our working families ‘ignorant and misinformed.’ I think it’s time to bring back respect and dignity to the governor’s office of Kentucky.”

Adkins said he is supporting Beshear because he believes they will be able to have an open-door policy with a governor who listens to people “instead of policies that shut people out and tear people down.”

He also noted that the governor’s race is not about national politics, and that people should focus on the issues that are important to the state of Kentucky.

“Don’t let people nationalize this race,” Adkins said. “This is about our local communities. This is about Magoffin County or Elliott County where I’m from. This is a race about our state politics and what happens in our communities – what happens every day and who’s going to provide that leadership. It’s about who can make sure rural Kentucky has a seat at the table and make sure our people have hope and opportunity, as well.”

Adkins also urged the crowd to consider the importance of the attorney general’s race, which will also be on the ballot on November 5, stating Greg Stumbo is capable of fighting to protect Kentuckians. 

“This race is not about Andy Beshear. It’s not about Rocky Adkins, It’s not about Greg Stumbo. This race is about the people of Kentucky. This is a race about the future of Kentucky.”

Adkins also mentioned the low voter turnout in May, urging everyone to vote to make a difference.

“When people don’t vote, people get elected to public office that don’t need to be in public office and you’re seeing that right now. In 2015, only 30 percent of the people came out and voted. Matt Bevin got 16 percent, and he’s hurt the working families. He’s hurt education. Have you had enough?”

Greg Stumbo, who is the Democratic nominee for attorney general, said he was proud to be on the ticket for this year’s election.

“We’re old fashioned Democrats,” Stumbo said. “We’re conservative, Christian Democrats. It’s important for people to understand you don’t have to be a Christian to be in public office, but it’s good to know the Judge.”

Stumbo said he wants to continue the work Beshear has done in the attorney general’s office, protecting pensions and healthcare, as well as continue the work he started when he held the office in 2004-2008, in pursuing litigation against opioid manufacturers.

“We sued Big Pharma from right up here in Pike County, and the legal theory we developed is the same legal theory that is the basis of all these cases you see across the nation now,” Stumbo said.

He noted that everyone in the community is affected by the opioid epidemic and he said that he wants to hold the opioid distributors and manufacturers accountable. 

“The young man I’m running against is a fine young man, I’m sure,” Stumbo said in regards to Daniel Cameron. “But he’s never tried a case in court. He doesn’t have any experience leading any civil or criminal prosecutions and the attorney general’s office is an office we can’t afford to have on-the-job training.”

*Editor’s Note: A Jefferson Circuit judge ruled on October 10 that Cameron is eligible to run for attorney general. A Louisville man had filed a complaint stating Cameron did not meet the qualifications to hold the office, asking his name be removed from the ballot. The law requires an attorney general candidate to have eight years of experience practicing law. Cameron's attorney argued that he has been practicing law for over eight years on Mitch McConnell’s council and at multiple law firms. 

Andy Beshear addressed the crowd Monday night, saying that the energy felt in the community center was being felt all over the state. 

“All around Kentucky people feel left out and left behind,” Beshear said. “It’s not like we’re asking for a lot. We want a governor that listens more than they talk. Wouldn’t that be nice? We want a governor who solves more problems than he creates. I know that would be nice, and we demand a governor that never engages in bullying and name-calling. That spends all of his time addressing the challenges in front of us. That’s the type of governor I want to be. One for all Kentuckians. One that fights for all Kentuckians – fight for the lost, lonely and the left behind.”

Beshear noted that the issues Kentucky faces are too fundamental to have an “us vs. them” mentality. 

“This election is very simply about right vs. wrong,” Beshear said, noting he feels Bevin was wrong in his actions regarding public education, prevailing wages and right-to-work legislation, pensions, healthcare, the drug epidemic, and more.

“I like to think by now if anyone knows how to stop [Matt Bevin] from doing wrong, it’s probably me,” Beshear said, referencing the litigation he has pursued as attorney general to stop some of Bevin’s actions he said were illegal.

“To the state workers, the teachers, and social workers here in this room, representing you to get that ‘sewer bill’ thrown out was one of the top honors of my lifetime,” Beshear said.

He said his first challenge with Bevin came 90 days into his term, when Bevin ordered cuts to universities and community colleges.

“I had a good job and I got to see my family more before this,” Beshear said. “I got in this for every family one paycheck away from falling into poverty. Every family that if they get that one surprise bill where they didn’t know they were out of network and don’t know how they can make ends meet. Every family that is one car repair – that now has sales tax on it, thanks to Matt Bevin – from not being able to get to work. So I filed that lawsuit, we won and we returned $18 million to where it belonged.”

Beshear said he entered the race in part to stop Bevin from “doing wrong,” but also because he wants to do “a lot of right.”

“It is a true opportunity to wake up every single day and help our families,” Beshear said. “Everyone in this commonwealth. Every day that goes by and you don’t bring the best you have, you might bring our families forward just a little less. I don’t just want to be your governor. I want to govern well.”

He said he wants to work in restoring the prevailing wage and getting a representative labor cabinet, protecting healthcare, and fight the drug epidemic.

“Public education, pensions, healthcare and jobs are not political,” Beshear said. “We know we can do so much more together.”

He explained that he is not only a product of public schools, but he also chose a teacher, Jacqueline Coleman, to be his running mate as lieutenant governor.

“I am one of hundreds of thousands of teachers across this commonwealth who knows every challenge these three men just talked about, we face in these classrooms every day,” Coleman said. “We talk about helping kids without healthcare, that face trauma, that have parents that are out of work, that need school to break the cycles of poverty they are in. We look those kids in the eyes every single day. We understand what it takes to create a better tomorrow for all of our families. That’s exactly what we’re here for.”

The General Election is set for November 5. Beshear, who is the current Kentucky attorney general and son of former Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, will be going up against incumbent Governor Matt Bevin.
 

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Heather Oney

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