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Editor's note: This story previously stated that WKU sued the Herald in order to protect the identity of university employees involved in sexual misconduct investigations. WKU officials have stated in the past that their reasoning for suing the Herald is to protect student privacy, which the university contends it is required to do under FERPA. The story has been corrected and the Herald regrets the error. 

Kentucky’s gubernatorial election on Nov. 5 will put the state at a crossroads for deciding its future over the next four years and beyond, and Andy Beshear is the best choice to serve as Kentucky’s next governor based off his policies and previous track record in Kentucky politics.

Gov. Matt Bevin and Andy Beshear could not be more different on the issues that Kentucky is currently facing, from public education to voting rights, and Beshear is most qualified to address these concerns for the state.

Over the past few years Bevin has made efforts to cut higher education funding and programs by tens of millions of dollars, while Beshear has consistently stood up to the governor in court and worked to make college more accessible to all Kentuckians.

Beshear wants Kentucky universities to expand on what they offer students instead of cutting programs in order to save money.

Bevin doesn’t understand the advantages of the liberal arts. Although he has a degree in East Asian Studies, he has gone on record bashing the study of arts from other countries and has encouraged universities to cut non-traditional majors.

Beshear has a plan to make Kentucky more progressive while also helping the state financially benefit from these changes. His plan to legalize medicinal marijuana would bring another revenue source to Kentucky while simultaneously fighting the state’s opioid crisis and mass incarceration.

In addition to this, Beshear’s idea to legalize sports gambling would partially fund the state’s troubled pension system and also capitalize on one of the nation’s fastest growing trends. He has a vision to keep Kentucky up to speed with changes other states are making, instead of falling behind for no other reason than keeping traditional values.

As attorney general, Beshear has stood up in court against pharmaceutical companies contributing to the abundance of opioid abuse throughout the commonwealth, as he recognizes addiction is a sickness and the organizations prescribing drugs have been taking advantage of Kentuckians.

He also has pledged to stand up to the industry giants exploiting Kentuckians’ health needs. Beshear wants healthcare to be affordable to everyone, even going as far as suing drug companies over price gouging.

Beshear has a strong plan to address criminal justice reform with an agenda that includes giving convicted felons the right to vote again, tackling the disproportionate amount of incarcerated people of color and sending people with addictions to rehab instead of prison. Beshear realizes prison for profit is immoral, and overcrowded correctional facilities is not a valid solution to crime in Kentucky.

Beshear has sided with the College Heights Herald and the University of Kentucky’s Kentucky Kernel in its fight for transparency in public institutions. He issued an opinion as attorney general stating WKU should turn over records the Herald requested of investigations of sexual misconduct by university employees.

Beshear knows the importance of holding those higher up accountable, and it shows in his other policies as well.

Bevin has repeatedly disrespected public servants, even going as far as saying teachers have a “thug mentality” for going on strike and also accusing of them of being responsible for the sexual assault of children. Bevin has regularly lied and bullied those who challenge him, and Kentucky deserves better.

Beshear has leadership qualities that contrast Bevin’s inflammatory behavior. As governor, he would unite Kentuckians and move the state in the right direction instead of holding us back with volatile authority like the incumbent currently does.

Opinion Editor Cameron Coyle can be reached at cameron.coyle803@topper.wku.edu.