‘Together, we’re going to win this county’: Governor Beshear hosts reelection stop in Bowling Green


Alexandria Anderson

Gov. Andy Beshear gives a speech at Spencer’s Coffee downtown during his reelection tour stop in Bowling Green.

Alexandria Anderson, Editor-in-Chief

Hundreds of supporters packed Spencer’s Coffee downtown tonight, waving signs and starting rallying chants, to greet Gov. Andy Beshear on his reelection tour stop in Bowling Green.

This stop is one of 10 on Beshear’s reelection kickoff tour throughout Kentucky. The tour began this morning in Paducah after Beshear won the Democratic nomination on May 16.

“Today, we’re taking that next step to securing four more years,” Beshear said, in his introductory speech.

Supporters across south central Kentucky joined Beshear tonight for a multitude of reasons. WKU students in attendance appreciate Beshear’s work to represent young people.

“I think Beshear is a great representative of Kentucky, especially when people on the other side of the aisle don’t really vote for my interest or the interest of young people like me,” Grant Oller, a senior biology major at WKU, said. “So he’s a great representative.”

Gov. Andy Beshear takes a photo with WKU student Ashley Ranger at his reelection tour stop at Spencer’s Coffee in Bowling Green. (Alexandria Anderson)

Beshear and Lt. Gov. Jaqueline Coleman were introduced by Rocky Adkins, the governor’s senior advisor and former Kentucky House representative.

“This campaign is about getting up every day as Team Kentucky and making sure that we’re trying to help somebody instead of hurt somebody,” Adkins said. “This campaign is about uniting people instead of dividing people. This campaign, it’s about lifting people up instead of tearing people down.”

Beshear was elected governor in 2019 in a close race with Republican nominee Matt Bevin, winning by just 5,000 votes statewide. William Compton, a Bowling Green resident running for U.S. representative for Kentucky congressional district 2 in 2024, said stops in Bowling Green gets voters energized and looking at state issues. On a broader scale, Compton said this race influences larger elections.

“This governor election is considered an opening […] we saw when Matt Bevin was elected, Donald Trump was elected, we saw when Beshear was elected, Biden was elected, and so it kind of sets the plan,” Compton said.

Beshear and Coleman’s speeches focused primarily on economic strides made in Kentucky during Beshear’s term, job creation in the South Central Kentucky region and educational support.

“It’s so important that we come together one more time to make sure that we elect a governor that treats every Kentucky family like they’re his own,” Coleman said. “Let me tell you something, nobody is going to work harder for your vote and nobody deserves it more than your governor, Andy Beshear.”

During his time as governor, Beshear brought the state through several challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic, tornado destruction that killed 80 people and catastrophic flooding in Eastern Kentucky. He is currently the most popular Democratic governor in the nation, according to a poll by the Morning Consult.

A crowd of supporters waits to shake hands and take photos with Gov. Andy Beshear. (Alexandria Anderson)

“As we stand here tonight, despite everything we have been through, I am more hopeful and more optimistic for the future of this Commonwealth than at any time in my lifetime,” Beshear said.

Beshear announced that Kentucky set the lowest annual unemployment rate in the state’s history last year, and last month, set the lowest monthly unemployment rate seen in the Commonwealth.

“We’re coming off our two best years for economic development in our history and it is not even close,” Beshear said. 

He urged supporters that now is the time to make change in Kentucky and it is time for the state to “take our spot as a top 10 state economy.”

“As we look at all of this success, I truly believe we are at a moment in Kentucky where we can change everything,” Beshear said. “We can be the generation to change everything for those that come after us.”

Augusta Mayfield, a physician at Bowling Green Internal Medicine & Pediatric Associates, said she was grateful for Beshear’s work during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as his contribution to the state economy.

“I’ve lived in Bowling Green for 27 years and the last four years in leadership have been incredible,” Mayfield said. “I’ve never seen this much growth as far as businesses and population and I feel like he’s excellent for the state.”

Beshear also focused on pension funds for employees, healthcare expansion and inclusivity across the state.

“We can make sure that no one is left out, no part of our state is left out,” Beshear said. “No neighborhood in our cities are left out and groups of people that are far too often left out are included in the coming prosperity.”

The Republican nominee for the race is Daniel Cameron, current Kentucky attorney general, who won the Republican primary with nearly half of all votes. Cameron is also endorsed by former president Donald Trump, an endorsement that has provided the support of many Republicans.

A table where supporters could sign up to volunteer and pick up signs and stickers for Gov. Andy Beshear’s reelection outside Spencer’s Coffee downtown. (Alexandria Anderson)

Beshear said while Cameron’s campaign, among the other previous Republican nominees, has focused on negative aspects of the state and on party divisions, he hopes to continue bringing together Kentuckians.

“They’re talking us down,” he said. “They’re running us down, they’re creating division and fear and hatred […] We have put selflessness over selfishness these last four years and I don’t think we ought to go back now.”

Despite Beshear’s support as governor, Kentucky primarily votes Republican. The Kentucky Senate has had a Republican majority since 2000 and the House since 2017. However, the state’s governors have almost always been Democrats. 

In the 2019 election, Beshear won Warren County by approximately 1,000 votes. Beshear plans to “talk to people about the things they care about the most” in rural communities and focus on health care, job creation, public safety and public education.

“I can tell you as governor, I don’t focus on Democrat or Republican,” Beshear said. “I don’t focus on moving our state right or left. I focus on moving it forward for all of our families.”

More Democratic candidates are focused on winning the “college student” vote, as this age group and those with college degrees are more likely to vote Democratic. With Bowling Green home to WKU, Beshear said the university is “critical” for the state and that with state budget surpluses, they must be invested in education.

Gov. Andy Beshear answers questions from the press during his reelection tour stop in Bowling Green. (Alexandria Anderson)

“Our institutions of higher education are critical,” Beshear said. “My parents were first generation college [students], and it’s changed everything for every generation that comes after […] It [budget surpluses] means we have to invest in K through 12, teacher pay. We need to finally fund universal pre-K and it means we have to continue to invest especially in major universities like WKU, which we’re going to do.”

Dawn Winters, interim director of student success for the WKU College of Education and Behavioral Sciences, said Beshear’s guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic, his support of the queer community and support of higher education is why she supports his campaign.

“Clearly he supports higher education,” Winters said. “Kentucky, among other states, has seen cuts to higher education. I feel like he would provide support to at least continue not cutting or just stop the cutting […] Students come to WKU and they find themselves and they tend to grow intellectually, professionally and personally, and he is there to protect them and to help them live their lives safely in Kentucky.”

Beshear said he felt the “energy” coming from Bowling Green and that the turnout tonight said voters are excited and optimistic about the future.

“Together, we’re going to win this county,” Beshear said. “Together, we’re going win this election. And together, we’re going to build a Kentucky we’ve always dreamed of.”

Editor-in-chief Alexandria Anderson can be reached at [email protected].