Craft touts UN role in promoting bid for Kentucky governor

Sep 13, 2022, 5:32 PM | Updated: 6:34 pm
Kelly Craft, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, stands on the steps of the Barren County...

Kelly Craft, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, stands on the steps of the Barren County Courthouse to announce her candidacy for Kentucky governor in Glasgow, Ky., Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022. Craft, a Republican, enters a gubernatorial race that is already crowded with candidates. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

(AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

GLASGOW, Ky. (AP) — Touting her time as United Nations ambassador for Donald Trump, Republican Kelly Craft told a hometown crowd Tuesday that her work on the world stage showed she’s tough enough to “fight for Kentucky values” as she kicked off her 2023 campaign for governor.

Looking past her many GOP rivals and moving quickly to join a contest that has all but overshadowed the 2022 midterm elections in Kentucky, Craft zeroed in on Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear in a hard-hitting evening speech coming days after she announced her candidacy.

She said Kentuckians have been hit by “Democrat-made disasters” of inflation and pandemic-related lockdowns during Beshear’s tenure. It was part of her effort to link the governor to President Joe Biden, who was trounced by Trump in Kentucky in the 2020 election.

“It’s time to fight back against the failed Biden-Beshear policies that are making life harder and more expensive,” Craft told a few hundred people gathered outside the Barren County courthouse.

Following a strategy that catapulted the GOP to dominance in Kentucky, Craft and other Republican contenders for governor are trying to nationalize the race.

And they’ve repeatedly attacked the COVID-related restrictions Beshear put on businesses and gatherings earlier in his term. The governor says his actions reflected guidance from Trump’s coronavirus task force and, more importantly, saved lives.

Craft, who grew up on a farm in Barren County in south-central Kentucky, enters the crowded Republican primary for governor with the advantage of being able to tap her family’s wealth to finance her campaign. Craft spent years cultivating connections within the GOP as she and her husband, coal magnate Joe Craft, donated millions of dollars to Republican candidates. Beshear, who has maintained strong job approval ratings from Kentuckians, is seeking a second term in 2023.

Craft’s entry in the gubernatorial race had long been anticipated. After her Tuesday speech, Kentucky Democratic Chair Colmon Elridge referred to it as “the phoniest rollout money can buy.”

“But Craft can’t write a check to hide her jaw-dropping lack of qualifications or experience,” he said in a statement.

Making the transition from longtime party activist to political candidate, Craft sounded themes heard from other Republicans in stressing her conservative credentials. She bemoaned Kentucky’s deadly illegal drug scourge, touted her support for gun rights and vowed to ensure that schoolchildren are taught the basics and “not radical woke ideologies.” And she promised to crack down on crime.

“Don’t you think we need to fire Andy Beshear?” Craft said to applause. “Well, I do, too.”

She also played up her time representing the United States as its ambassador to the United Nations.

“President Trump sent me into that snake pit at the United Nations for a reason,” Craft said. “He knew this Kentucky girl would be strong enough to stand up for American, for Kentucky values. And tough enough to take on the Communist Chinese Party.”

She later added: “If I can fight for American values at the United Nations, then I can fight for Kentucky values right here at home.”

Trump first appointed Craft as U.S. ambassador to Canada, where she played a role in facilitating the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, Trump’s long-sought revamp of the North American Free Trade Agreement. The updated trade deal brought manufacturing jobs back to the U.S. and in doing so “put Kentucky workers and American workers first,” she said, borrowing a theme reminiscent of Trump.

In 2019, Trump appointed Craft to serve as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

But her connections with Trump, who easily carried Kentucky in the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, were neutralized by the former president’s endorsement this year of GOP Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s bid for governor in the Bluegrass State.

In her speech Tuesday, Craft decried Kentucky’s ongoing surge of fatal drug overdoses, which rose again last year, surpassing 2,000 deaths in a record death toll in the state.

“To restore the promise of Kentucky, we need to stop the endless flow of illegal drugs from Mexico that are destroying our children’s lives,” she said.

Other GOP candidates for governor include state Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, state Auditor Mike Harmon, state Rep. Savannah Maddox and retired attorney Eric Deters.

The Democratic governor is expected to highlight his management of the state’s economy in asking voters for a second term. Kentucky has posted records for job creation and investments during his term and has recorded its lowest-ever unemployment rates.

Beshear also has won bipartisan praise for his administration’s responses to natural disasters — tornadoes that tore through western Kentucky last December and historic flooding that swamped parts of eastern Kentucky in late July.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Flooded area due to Typhoon Noru in San Miguel town, Bulacan province, Philippines, Monday, Sept. 2...
Associated Press

Vietnam imposes curfew, evacuations ahead of Typhoon Noru

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Vietnam imposed a curfew and evacuated over 800,000 people as a powerful typhoon that had flooded villages and left at least eight dead in the Philippines aimed Tuesday for the country’s central region. People living near the coast where Typhoon Noru was expected to slam early Wednesday had been ordered to […]
58 minutes ago
A currency trader watches monitors at the foreign exchange dealing room of the KEB Hana Bank headqu...
Associated Press

Asian shares mostly gain after Dow tumbles into bear market

Asian stocks were mostly higher on Tuesday after heavy selling on Wall Street put the Dow Jones Industrial Average into what’s known as a bear market. U.S. futures and oil prices gained. Tokyo, Sydney and Shanghai advanced while Hong Kong declined. The week started out with a bout of selling amid an extended slump for […]
58 minutes ago
FILE -  Silvio Berlusconi, leader of center-right, populist Forza Italia is flanked by his partner ...
Associated Press

He’s back! Italy’s Berlusconi wins Senate seat after tax ban

ROME (AP) — Just in time to celebrate his 86th birthday, former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi is making his return to Italy’s parliament, winning a seat in the Senate nearly a decade after being banned from holding public office over a tax fraud conviction. Berlusconi, who has made personal comebacks a hallmark of Italian politics […]
58 minutes ago
FILE - The Nord Stream 1 Baltic Sea pipeline and the transfer station of the OPAL gas pipeline, the...
Associated Press

Germany: Pressure drops in 2nd Russian gas pipeline

BERLIN (AP) — The Nord Stream 1 pipeline leading from Russia to Europe has reported a drop in pressure, only hours after a leak was reported in the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in the Baltic Sea off Denmark, the German economy ministry said. “We are investigating this incident as well, together with the authorities concerned […]
1 day ago
FILE - AFC quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15), of the Kansas City Chiefs passes against the NFC durin...
Associated Press

NFL ends Pro Bowl; skills competitions, flag game instead

The Pro Bowl got a major makeover. The NFL has eliminated its full-contact all-star game and is replacing it with weeklong skills competitions and a flag football game. The new event will be renamed “The Pro Bowl Games” and will feature AFC and NFC players showcasing their football and non-football skills in challenges over several […]
1 day ago
A street near the parliament is packed with protesters against a state funeral for Japan's former P...
Associated Press

Japan’s former leader Abe honored at divisive state funeral

TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s hawkish former leader Shinzo Abe was honored by a rare and divisive state funeral Tuesday that was full of militaristic presentation like soldiers carrying his ashes in a box brought by his widow and praise of his nine-year premiership. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has said the publicly financed ceremony was a […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
Craft touts UN role in promoting bid for Kentucky governor