Current Kentucky Attorney General and Democrat gubernatorial candidate Andy Beshear made a pit stop in Pulaski County Monday evening as he runs a hard race to unseat Republican incumbent Matt Bevin.
A fundraiser held in downtown Somerset capped Beshear's day of campaigning.
"Today we've been all over the state meeting folks who are excited about a change of leadership here in Kentucky…," Beshear said. "I'm seeing the type of energy and enthusiasm out there, not just to win an election but to truly bring Kentucky together so that we can move forward as one. That we can have a unity of purpose and we can truly lift every family up."
Those people, he said, are looking for someone who is focused on health care and public education.
When it comes to health care, Beshear pointed to his own family of four when talking about the importance of protecting coverage for pre-existing conditions, noting that three have such conditions. He asserted that Bevin's plan would strip health care coverage for 90,000 families throughout the state.
Of education, Beshear spoke of opposing Bevin's push for charter schools which, he believes, will shut down public schools in most counties "because they're wouldn't be enough dollars left over to run it." He also took issue with what he sees as attacking teachers who rally against the governor's plans for charter schools and pension reform.
"Those are the type of issues that matter to people," Beshear said.
With Bevin's promise of a special session of the Kentucky General Assembly to address pension reform repeatedly delayed, Beshear asserted that his own plan is more realistic.
"It's time that a governor will address the pensions in a way that will work," Beshear said. "This governor [Bevin] is only willing to do one of two things: illegally cut the benefits of 200,000 public servants or put crushing debt on our cities, counties, child advocacy centers, rape crisis centers, public health organizations. I am going to fully fund our pension system through new revenue."
The candidate explained that new revenue -- through expanded gaming and medicinal marijuana -- would improve the commonwealth's bond rating and lower costs.
Beshear also said he'd like to put an end to tax incentives for companies offering "cut-rate" jobs that don't pay a "living wage" and use them instead to recruit good jobs for communities such as Somerset. Certain tax breaks would be eliminated as well.
"If you can afford a private jet, you can afford to pay sales tax," Beshear said.
Though Pulaski has long been a GOP stronghold, the county does have an active Democrat organization that turned out in force for Beshear on Monday. The candidate sounded confident that, come November 5, he can attract enough votes from Republicans disenchanted with Bevin to carry the day.
"This race is not about Democrat versus Republican," Beshear said. "It's about right versus wrong.…The way he [Bevin] talks about people and treats people is wrong. I'm driven every day by my faith, that tells me that the Golden Rule is about treating our neighbors the way we should and that a governor has to serve everybody -- even the lost, the lonely and the left behind. We have to create an administration that lifts everyone up."