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Daniel Cameron Sworn In As Kentucky’s First Black Attorney General

Kyeland Jackson
Credit Kyeland Jackson

Daniel Cameron has been sworn in as Kentucky’s next attorney general. He is the first Republican to hold the office since 1948 and the first African American elected on his own ticket to statewide office.

Cameron was supposed to take office on January 6, but started early after newly-elected Gov. Andy Beshear appointed him to fill a vacancy in the office. Beshear, a Democrat, was the previous attorney general and was inaugurated as Kentucky’s 63rd governor on December 10.

“I appreciate Gov. Beshear for making this very early appointment,” Cameron said after he was sworn in Tuesday morning. “It says a lot about the culture, the atmosphere and the environment that I think begins anew here in our state’s Capitol.”

So far Cameron’s rapport with Beshear has been friendlier than Beshear’s relationship with former Gov. Matt Bevin.

Bevin and Beshear feuded throughout the four years they were in office at the same time, ranging from personal attacks to numerous lawsuits filed by Beshear against Bevin’s official actions.

Cameron said he would continue what he called “the good work that was started by Gov. Beshear.”

“We will work diligently on behalf of all Kentuckians to make sure we are a voice for the voiceless, to makes sure we’re doing everything we possibly can to ensure, to promote and improve the public safety outcomes that we have here in the commonwealth of Kentucky,” Cameron said.

Cameron is a protégé of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and previously worked as a corporate attorney and spokesman for criminal justice reform group Kentucky Smart On Crime.

Cameron is the first African American in Kentucky to win state office on his own ticket. He said he hoped his election would encourage more people who look like him to run for office.

“I hope it says to people that look like me that regardless of what your political affiliation is, that not only can you cast a ballot in an election, but you can also put your name on that ballot, that you will be judged on your merit, your talent and your skills rather than the color of your skin,” Cameron said.

Cameron defeated former Democratic Attorney General Greg Stumbo on Election Day this year with a little more than 57 percent of the vote. Stumbo is a former Speaker of the Kentucky House of Representatives and served as attorney general between 2004 and 2008.

Copyright 2019 WKMS

Ryland Barton is WFPL's Managing Editor for Collaboratives.
Ryland Barton
Ryland is the state capitol reporter for Kentucky Public Radio. He's covered politics and state government for NPR member stations KWBU in Waco and KUT in Austin. Always looking to put a face to big issues,Ryland'sreporting has taken him to drought-weary towns in West Texas and relocated communities in rural China. He's covered breaking news like the 2014 shooting at Fort Hood Army Base and the aftermath of the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas.