Kentucky’s House Minority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins (D) announced he’s seeking the Democratic nomination for the Commonwealth’s governor seat in 2019.
Adkins announced his candidacy during a press conference in Morehead, Kentucky, the largest city in his district. The 59-year-old Adkins joins Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear (D) in the bid to unseat Republican Governor Matt Bevin, who is currently unopposed in his bid to seek re-election. Adkins chose Jefferson County School Board Member Stephanie Horne as his running mate. Jefferson County is where Louisville — Kentucky’s biggest city — resides.
“A governor who declares war on the very people he takes an oath to serve is not only out of order, he should be out of office,” Adkins said.
Adkins is the rural representative when it comes to his background. He’s served Eastern Kentucky in Kentucky’s State House of Representatives since 1987 — but he lacks the name recognition of Andy Beshear, the father of former Governor Steve Beshear, a Democrat who served two terms in the Commonwealth’s highest office from 2007-2015. Adkins is looking to find donors to his campaign while Beshear has already raised nearly 665 thousand dollars so far, something that Adkins took issue with, saying funds shouldn’t be raised until after the 2018 Midterm elections.
Kentucky is a staunch Republican state that currently occupies the gubernatorial seat, both United States Senate seats with Sen. Mitch McConnell, who’s also Senate Majority Leader, and Sen. Rand Paul. Conservatives also have five of the six seats in the U.S. House of Representatives with the lone Democrat being John Yarmouth.
Gov. Bevin has came under fire recently for his controversial teacher’s pension law that has disgruntled many teachers and public workers, even going as far as saying he guaranteed a child was sexually assaulted because of teachers protesting in Kentucky’s state capitol in Frankfort. Bevin is also considered the 4th least popular governor in the U.S. according to Morning Consult with only 30 percent of Kentuckian’s approving of his job as governor.
“I believe a pension is a promise that must be kept and as your governor I will keep that promise.” Adkins said from the Morehead Conference Center near the campus of Morehead State University.
Bevin’s bold rhetoric and lack of tact in social situations lead to comparisons to President Donald Trump, which strikes a cord with some of the most conservative citizens in Kentucky.
Brandon Howard is a contributor for GritPost and former public radio reporter based out of Lexington, Kentucky. Follow him on Twitter @mrpowerhoward.