Kentucky gubernatorial candidates set as filing deadline passes

WATCH | Kentucky gubernatorial candidates set as filing deadline passes
Published: Jan. 6, 2023 at 4:30 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) - The field of candidates for the 2023 Kentucky race for governor is set.

The deadline to file to run has now passed.

With Friday’s deadline now passed, 12 Republicans are looking to face Governor Andy Beshear in the general election. Two Democrats, including former Republican nominee Peppy Martin, are looking to unseat Beshear before then.

“She was in support of some seemingly progressive measures like medical marijuana and sports gambling. But she says the party has left former democrats like her. She’s running to be more of a conservative democrat option,” said Lexington Herald-Leader political reporter Austin Horn.

The website for the Kentucky Secretary of State shows 12 candidates have filed for the GOP primary. They are Daniel Cameron, Jacob Clark, David Cooper, Kelly Craft, Eric Deters, Bob DeVore, Mike Harmon, Alan Keck, Dennis Ray Ormerod, Ryan Quarles, Johnny Ray Rice and Robbie C. Smith.

Noticeably absent from that group is former Governor Matt Bevin.

The former governor seemingly hinted in a tweet that he would potentially be filing to run before Friday’s deadline:

However, when Bevin showed up at the Capitol around 3 p.m. Friday, he gave a speech about issues he believes still need to be addressed in the commonwealth and then left the Capitol.

The deadline to file was 4 p.m.

To tease his run, walk into the Capitol, give a long speech that sounded like a platform speech, and then promptly walk out, was kind of in character,” said Horn.

Herald-Leader political reporter Austin Horn says, either way, Bevin was going to change up this race. His decision not to run also making an impact.

“I think with him in it with his high name ID, he would have pushed a candidate like Daniel Cameron, who already has really high name ID, or a candidate like Kelly Craft, who we know has the resources to build that name ID. I think with him in the race, that probably would have hurt those two candidates, but with him out of the race, I think those two candidates don’t have to worry about the kind of low-information voters, person who votes just because they know the name,” said Horn.

The Democratic Governors Association released a statement calling the packed Kentucky GOP primary field “the dangerous dozen,” saying they are “officially set for a chaotic battle over who is most extreme.”

The Republican Party of Kentucky says they feel their long list of candidates shows a level of excitement from their side.

The 2023 Primary Election Day is Tuesday, May 16.