Continuous Criticisms and Counter Arguments
Cameron, in criticizing Beshear's stance on crime, often brings up the governor's decision to release some inmates early amidst the pandemic - this move, Cameron argues, was a major contributor to the escalation of criminal activities."This governor unleashed havoc on our communities in many ways. Here's a governor that in 2020 let out 1,700 criminals from jail — and a third of those recommitted offenses in our communities," he said.
In response to such criticism, Beshear's team has pointed to Cameron's own role as attorney general during the period he alleges crime rates to have spiked. The governor's spokesperson, Alex Floyd, asserts that under Beshear's administration, crime rates decreased while pay for state troopers increased. "Under Andy Beshear, violent crime rates are down and pay for state troopers is up. Unlike Daniel Cameron's record of covering for criminals and lying about grand jury proceedings, Andy Beshear actually delivered pay raises for law enforcement – leading to the largest Kentucky State Police recruiting class in years," said Floyd.
The Controversy over Crime Statistics
Floyd's claim about the reduction in violent crime is based on the commonwealth's 2022 crime statistics report, which indicated a double-digit drop in homicides, robberies, and drug offenses from the previous year. The report originally showed a decrease of 33.4% in reported homicides, but an undercount of murders reported by the Jefferson County police department adjusted the reduction to 17.9% - still a significant drop from the prior year.
Despite such statistics, the GOP challenger maintains that the governor's handling of crime has been ineffective. He also criticizes Beshear's supposed failure to address the issue of fentanyl coming into the US from abroad. He accuses Beshear of being powerless against the Biden administration's inability to secure the southern border and argues that this, among other reasons, makes the governor unfit to serve the people of Kentucky."Beshear, hasn't done anything to address this issue or to push back against the Biden administration that has been inept at controlling and maintaining our southern border. [He] is beholden to the far left and to Joe Biden, and so he cannot speak out on these really big issues that are important to our citizens here in Kentucky," said Cameron.
Support and Endorsements
Despite the intense criticism and counterarguments, both candidates have received commendable support from various quarters. Cameron has been backed by nearly 200 law enforcement officials from across the commonwealth, including the significant endorsement flip from the Kentucky State FOP.
However, Beshear has not been left behind in endorsements. Over 35 law enforcement officials have announced their support for Beshear over Cameron, a fact that the latter dismisses by arguing that his endorsements dwarf those that Beshear has received. Cameron believes that the volume of his endorsements is evidence that law enforcement policy in the commonwealth requires a new direction.
Heading into the much-anticipated Election Day, both candidates are keenly focusing their campaigns on public safety matters. The outcome of this crucial race could be greatly influenced by their respective stances and the public's perception of their approach to handling crime.