Filing day 2023: See who’s running for Kentucky’s constitutional offices

Published 11:26 am Monday, January 9, 2023

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For those wishing to appear on the May primary election ballot for Kentucky’s Constitutional offices, the deadline was Friday afternoon at 4 p.m., and it turned out to be a very unusual final day.

For months, rumors circulated that Republican former Gov. Matt Bevin would challenge incumbent Democrat Andy Beshear, who narrowly beat Bevin’s re-election bid four years ago.

Friday morning, Bevin posted on social media that he would be in the Capitol Rotunda at 2:45, “I will share a few thoughts before proceeding down the hall.”

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He spoke to reporters for about 20 minutes, in which he suggested that lawmakers should impeach members of the Jefferson County School Board, encouraged further reforms to the state’s adoption and foster care system, fixing the juvenile justice and entire criminal justice systems and work to improve Kentucky’s urban communities.

“None of this can be done by the current governor, the next governor, or probably not the next two to three governors,” Bevin said. “But they all can be done, should be done; they are in the process of being done, once you take that first step.”

He also applauded lawmakers’ efforts to eliminate the state income tax, and said it should be replaced by a consumption tax.

After completing his remarks, Bevin walked out of the Capitol without filing papers with the Secretary of State and drove off in a van.

There were several others who did file papers today, so here is a rundown of all the candidates by party.

Governor: (Each party’s nominee will name their running mate after the primary.)

• Democrats (3): Andy Beshear (incumbent), Peppy Martin and Geoffrey M. “Geoff” Young.

• Republicans (12): Daniel Cameron, Jacob Clark, David O. Cooper, Kelly Craft, Eric Deters, Bob Devore, Mike Harmon, Alan Keck, Dennis Ray Ormerod, Ryan Quarles, Johnny Ray Rice and Robbie C. Smith.    

Secretary of State:

• Democrats (1): Charles “Buddy” Wheatley

• Republicans (3): Michael Adams (incumbent), Stephen Knipper, and Allen Maricle.

Attorney General:

• Democrats (1): Pamela Stevenson

• Republicans (1): Russell Coleman

State Auditor:

• Democrats (1): Kimberley “Kim” Reeder

• Republicans: (2): Allison Ball and Derek Pettys

State Treasurer:

• Democrats (1): Michael Bowman

• Republicans (3): Andrew Cooperrider, Mark H. Metcalf and O.C. “OJ” Oleka.

Agriculture Commissioner:

• Democrats (2): Sierra J. Enlow and Mikael Malone

• Republicans (2): Richard Heath and Jonathan Shell

Note that incumbent Attorney General Daniel Cameron, State Auditor Mike Harmon and Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, the last two of whom were term-limited, are all running for Governor, and Allison Ball was term-limited as Treasurer.

Kentucky’s Primary Election Day is Tuesday, May 16.