WKU alumnus files for governor’s race

Michael Crimmins, Administration reporter

Western Kentucky University alumnus Alan Keck is the most recent conservative to enter the race for Kentucky’s governor. 

Keck announced his run on Nov. 21, 2022 and signed his paperwork Jan. 5, according to the Kentucky secretary of state’s website.

Keck joins 12 other conservatives, including former United Nations ambassador Kelly Craft and Trump-endorsed Attorney General Daniel Cameron, as they campaign to unseat Democrat Governor Andy Beshear.

Keck said that while he aligns more closely with conservatism, he isn’t quick to put a label on his political views.

“I don’t know that I fit a label,” Keck said. “I don’t necessarily believe in Republican ideas or Democrat ideas. I’m a believer in good ideas and bad ideas. Obviously I line up a lot more with conservatives, but I want policy that improves people’s lives. My governmental philosophy is to be great at whatever’s necessary and what’s not necessary get out of the way. I’m not a cookie cutter Republican. I’m an outside-the-box thinker, someone who gets things done, and I don’t think a label really fits that.”

Faith and family are the two defining features of how he would characterize himself, Keck said, and it is one reason he decided to run for governor.

“My faith drives me,” Keck said. “I was saved at 12 years old. You know, I think we all are called for a specific purpose and I felt like mine was public service.”

His platform includes growing the economy, supporting and improving public safety, supporting strong education and supporting families. 

Keck’s education and family planks of his campaign platform include some traditionally Democratic ideas like strong public schools, but he said he is in favor of school choice as well.

“I support strong public schools, but I also support school choice and homeschooling,” Keck said. “I’m a believer we should elevate all three.”

Keck is a pro-life conservative with “pro family” policies like affordable child care and providing businesses with incentives to encourage paid maternity and paternity leave. He is also in favor of eliminating sales tax on necessities like diapers and baby wipes. 

Keck also supports medical marijuana and legalizing sports betting. 

He ran unsuccessfully for Somerset mayor in 2014, which Keck describes as an educational and humbling experience. He ran again in 2018 and won. 

“The biggest lesson [I learned] was just to be unapologetically authentic,” Keck said. “And we’re doing that in this governor race.”

Keck said one of the things that make him stand out in the race is his background in business. He served as president and CEO of Somerset Recycling before entering public service.

“I’m the only one in this race with executive experience,” Keck said. “Others will try to sell it, but I was a CEO and a mayor of a large city.”

Keck is originally from Somerset, but his father grew up in Bowling Green, so going to WKU was an easy choice.

“I come from a long line of Hilltoppers,” Keck said. “My brother went here, my mom and dad met here, I’ve had uncles and cousins play football and baseball here”

Like his parents, Keck also met his wife, Tiffany, while attending WKU and they raised three daughters together.

Keck played a semester as a wide receiver for the football team until a knee injury forced him to quit. He was also a member of Sigma Chi, a traditionally Christian fraternity.

He also said he is grateful for the lasting friendships he made during his time on the Hill.

“[WKU was] definitely a fond place for me,” Keck said.

Keck graduated from WKU in 2007 with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on business. Afterwards, he attended the University of the Cumberlands, where he earned an MBA.

“I absolutely loved my time here,” Keck said. “We bleed red but Big Red.”

Administration reporter Michael Crimmins can be reached at [email protected].