Governor makes campaign stop in Danville

Published 1:27 pm Thursday, September 7, 2023

By Lance Gaither

On Tuesday, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear visited Inter-County Energy to hold a meet-and-greet with constituents as part of his bid for re-election in November. He thanked supporters and focused on some of the most important issues facing Kentucky.

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“I’m so thankful for such an incredible turnout,” Beshear said. “We have been through a pandemic, tornadoes, flooding, windstorms, two ice storms, a polar plunge, the coldest I can ever remember, and now the hottest summer on record. We are going through inflation that while temporary is still tough on our families. We are even living through the economic affects of a war in Europe, something I thought I would only read about in history books. Even with what seems like historic adversity, more challenges than I can ever remember in terms in such a small period time, I am here more excited, optimistic, and hopeful for our future than I have ever been in our lifetime.”

He stressed economic growth in Kentucky during his time as governor.

“In 2021 we set a record $18 billion invested in Kentucky,” Beshear said, “We love that because it comes with jobs. A job is more than a number. It brings dignity, security for families and opportunities for the next generation. In 2021 we went from average 9,000 new jobs to a record 18,000 new jobs. We followed into 2022 with our second best year with 10 and half billion invested and 16,500 new jobs. It may just be September but we are living through will be our 3rd best year for economic growth in Kentucky.”

He went on to emphasize Kentucky’s low unemployment and budget surplus.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment in Kentucky is hovering at 3.8 percent, while the state’s rainy day fund is nearly $2 million, largest in the state’s history, according to the governor’s office.

“We set our lowest annual employment rate last year and our lowest monthly employment rate 4 months ago,” Beshear said. “We are in our longest period of low unemployment. Our fiscal house is in the best shape it has been in generation. We came off the biggest budget surplus we have ever had $1.55 billion.”

Beshear strongly believes in better funding for public schools.          

“We have put out our plan for an 11% across the board raise for all of our public school system employees,” Beshear said. “That is every teacher, councilor, custodian and cafeteria staff. It is every bus driver, if we want our public transportation to work we have to pay our drivers a living wage. Our budget surplus means we finally have the money to fund universal pre-K statewide.”

He hopes to reach across the political spectrum.

“Whether you are a Democrat, Republican or Independent there is place for you in this campaign and administration” Beshear said. “Most importantly, there is place for you in this Commonwealth. My job isn’t to move to the right or left but to move it forward for all of our families. A good job isn’t Democrat or Republican. A new bridge isn’t red or blue unless we paint it that way.”

Woodlawn Elementary teacher Jamie Bright supports Beshear for his stances on education.

“He has done so much for us during Covid,” Bright said. “He wants to support everyone, not just the educators but the entire school.”

Danville resident Katie Followell hopes Beshear keeps Kentucky steered in the same direction.

“Andy brings me a lot of comfort during Covid. He is a governor for everybody in Kentucky,” Followell said. “He needs to stick to what he is doing. He knows what he is doing. He is not too aggressive. It makes him special to me.”

Resident Linda Smith supports Besher’s efforts to better fund education.

“I appreciate what he is doing for the teachers. My daughter is a guidance councilor, I think he is doing a wonderful job,” Smith said. “I want him to keep bringing industry to Kentucky and helping teachers. I think taking care of our students is a big deal, he is trying to do that.”

Beshear is grateful for the enthusiasm he received from Danville.

“This is the biggest crowd I have ever seen in Danville for any type of political event,” Beshear said. “What you see is enthusiasm, people who feel they are part of this administration and campaign. I am grateful to serve a Commonwealth of people who want a better tomorrow. I mainly here that people are excited about this administration and they believe we are moving in the right direction. People want a governor that believes in public education and I am the only candidate that does.”     

If re-elected, Beshear says he will continue his focus on developing the economy and education.

“We have to continue this record setting economic growth,” Beshear said. “That is our chance to turn three years of great economic development into decades of prosperity. We have to get significant raises for public school staff. We can’t be number 2 in per-capita economic development if we are 44th in starter teacher pay. Our Education First plan with an 11% across the board raise would move us from 44th to between 22nd and 24th. It would make sure we invest in our classrooms in way that keeps our economy churning forward.”