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Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron met with the editorial board of Courier Magazine. October 17, 2019
Jeff Fahender, Louisville Courier Journal

Republican Daniel Cameron was elected Kentucky's next attorney general on Tuesday, the first African-American to ever win a job for the office, and the first Republican to do so in more than 70 years.

Cameron, a 33-year-old Louisville first-time candidate, had about 57% of the vote when the Associated Press announced the race in his favor, defeating Democratic candidate Greg Stumbo, a former House spokesman who tried to get back in political role after losing his place three years ago.

The Republican will replace Democrat Andy Bechere as attorney general, who was still locked in a tough race for governor against incumbent Matt Bevin.

Former adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Cameron has worked as a lawyer for Frost Brown Todd for the past two years.

Cameron said in the campaign that his priorities as attorney general would be to tackle the opioid epidemic in Kentucky and crimes against children, in addition to ensuring that Kentucky does not become a so-called "sanctuary state" for undocumented immigrants.

The impetus for the campaign against illegal immigration is tied to Cameron's efforts to nationalize the race, using conservative social issues like abortion and appearing in commercials as a supporter of President Donald Trump's program.

The Kentucky Freedom Fund, PKC affiliated with the General Association of Republican Attorneys, spent the most of each group in a TV commercial, launching attacks against Stumbo's character, calling it "disgusting dead rhythm" and calling it "Greg SCUMBO."

Stumbo, who previously served one term as attorney general, tried to make the race for Cameron's relative lack of legal experience, as he had never conducted a case in a courtroom.

Cameron's campaign countered this attack by using Stumbo's long career against him, with one ad calling him "a creature from the Frankfort swamp."

Another Cameron ad claims that Stumbo wants to turn Kentucky into a state at a sanctuary because he once supported undocumented immigrants eligible for temporary driving licenses, which he said would subject the state to imports of "Mexican meth."

Republican efforts to nationalize the race were boosted at the end of the campaign , highlighting a fundraising email written to Hillary Clinton about Stumbo, as Trump held a major rally in Lexington on the eve of the election.

Cameron won the Republican nomination in May with the support of his former boss McConnell and political Senator allies, overthrowing Republican state Sen. Will Schroeder.

After being sworn in, Cameron will become only the second African-American to ever hold a state-elected post in Kentucky. Lt. Gen. Janean Hampton, also a Republican, did this for the first time in 2015.

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Reach for reporter Joe Sonka @ jsonka courierjournal.com or 502-582-4472 and follow him on Twitter at @joesonka . Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: courierjournal.com/subscribe. records19659021ziraRead or share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2019/11/05/election-day -2019-Daniel-Cameron-kentuckys-lawyer-general / 4172213002 / [19659021]
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