Gubernatorial nominee’s plans to attend rally spark Republican infighting in Kentucky

Jun 30, 2023, 3:10 PM | Updated: 3:38 pm

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Republican infighting has erupted in Kentucky over gubernatorial nominee Daniel Cameron’s plans to attend a rally sponsored by an ex-rival who is now looking to challenge an incumbent GOP congressman next year.

That congressman, Thomas Massie, bluntly said Friday it would be a mistake for Cameron to attend the September rally to be hosted by Eric Deters in northern Kentucky — a GOP-leaning region where Democrat Andy Beshear made crucial inroads four years ago in winning the governorship. Cameron, the state’s Republican attorney general, is trying to unseat Beshear in one of the nation’s most closely watched campaigns in 2023.

Cameron’s plan to associate himself with Deters at the event “damages the AG’s credibility and jeopardizes his election,” the veteran congressman said in an emailed statement.

Cameron scored a convincing victory in the crowded May GOP gubernatorial primary, while Deters lagged far behind in fourth place. Since then, Deters has edged closer toward challenging Massie in next year’s Republican primary, having indicated he plans to announce his candidacy for the 4th District seat at the September “Freedom Fest” event at his northern Kentucky farm.

Deters — known for his allegiance to Donald Trump and sharing the ex-president’s no-holds-barred style — says he’ll do everything he can to help get Cameron elected. Deters said on social media Friday that Massie was “putting his own interests” ahead of Cameron and GOP voters, and that Massie was “jealous” about what an “incredible event” is planned. Deters says Cameron will be a “special guest” at the rally.

Cameron’s campaign said Friday it’s still finalizing his schedule but reiterated that Cameron plans to attend. The campaign didn’t respond to the backlash that has come from Massie and one of the congressman’s key allies — Republican state Rep. Savannah Maddox. The development, first reported by the Courier Journal in Louisville, underscores the challenges Cameron faces in uniting different factions within the GOP, the state’s dominant political party.

Maddox warned Friday that Cameron’s decision to attend the Deters-sponsored event has stirred an outcry among conservatives in the sprawling congressional district, which spans northern Kentucky and includes suburban areas south of Cincinnati, Ohio, that loom as a key battleground this fall.

“I find it hard to believe, and folks that I’ve spoken with find it hard to believe, that a Republican nominee for governor would attend the campaign launch event for someone who wants to try to defeat Congressman Thomas Massie,” Maddox said by phone Friday.

Maddox made her own months-long run for governor before exiting the primary campaign late last year. Deters has frequently targeted both Massie and Maddox for harsh criticism.

Massie and Maddox characterized Cameron’s plans to show up at the rally as a miscalculation.

“The polls show it’s going to be a close race this November with not a lot of room for mistakes,” Massie said. “Attendance at this rally would be a mistake and I think Cameron’s seasoned advisors know that.”

Meanwhile, Beshear’s campaign characterized the GOP infighting as a sign that Cameron “can’t even manage to bring his party together.”

As Kentucky’s chief law enforcement official, Cameron’s attendance at the event could lead to even more fallout. Deters pleaded guilty earlier this year to charges stemming from chasing his nephew in a truck at his farm after he was flipped off.

Deters says the September event is to be headlined by Trump and is to feature speeches from Trump’s adult sons and other prominent conservative figures. A Trump campaign spokesman did not immediately respond to a question Friday about whether he would attend. Trump endorsed Cameron early in Kentucky’s GOP primary campaign, providing a crucial boost for Cameron in winning the nomination.

Trump has his own Trump’s good graces, winning Trump’s endorsement ahead of Kentucky’s primary.

The libertarian-minded Massie has trounced his GOP challengers in the past on his way to reelection in the Republican-dominated district. Massie is backing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — a leading Trump rival — in the Republican campaign for president in 2024.

United States News

FILE -Oakland County Judge Kwame Rowe looks towards witness during cross examination, July 27, 2023...

Associated Press

Michigan judge to decide whether Oxford High School shooter gets life in prison or chance at parole

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) — A teenager who killed four students at Michigan’s Oxford High School will learn Friday whether he will spend his life in prison or get a chance for parole in the decades ahead. Judge Kwame Rowe will announce his decision over video conference, weeks after hearing from experts who clashed over Ethan […]

2 hours ago

FILE - From left, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., and Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa...

Associated Press

The far right has been feuding with McCarthy for weeks. Here’s how it’s spiraling into a shutdown.

WASHINGTON (AP) — With little time left to prevent a government shutdown, the House is in a familiar position: effectively paralyzed as conservatives feud with Speaker Kevin McCarthy over matters large and small. McCarthy has pushed the Republican conference to embrace a short-term funding plan that would also include a sweeping Republican proposal for the […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

186.000 migrants and refugees arrived in southern Europe so far this year, most in Italy, UN says

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. refugee agency said Thursday that some 186,000 migrants and refugees arrived in southern Europe so far this year, the vast majority in Italy. Between January and Sept. 24, over 2,500 people seeking to cross the Mediterranean were found dead or are still missing, a significant increase from the 1,680 […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Hawaii authorities search for man with handgun he gets into scuffle on Army base and flees

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii authorities were looking for a man who fled with a handgun after getting into a scuffle while trying to talk to soldiers at an Army base, officials said. No shots were fired but the Army treated it as an “active shooter situation” and two military bases on Oahu went into lockdown […]

4 hours ago

FILE - Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., leaves the chamber at the Capitol in Washingt...

Associated Press

McCarthy rejects Senate spending bill while scrambling for a House plan that averts a shutdown

A government shutdown appeared all but inevitable as House Speaker Kevin McCarthy dug in Thursday.

4 hours ago

Associated Press

Navy issues written reprimands for fuel spill that sickened 6,000 people at Pearl Harbor base

HONOLULU (AP) — The Navy on Thursday issued written reprimands to three now-retired military officers for their roles in the spill of jet fuel into Pearl Harbor’s drinking water in 2021 but did not fire, suspend, dock the pay or reduce the rank of anyone for the incident. The spill from the Red Hill Bulk […]

5 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.

Home moving relocation in Arizona 2023...

BMS Moving

Tips for making your move in Arizona easier

If you're moving to a new home in Arizona, use this to-do list to alleviate some stress and ensure a smoother transition to your new home.



At Ability360, every day is Independence Day

With 100 different programs and services, more than 1,500 non-medically based home care staff, a world-renowned Sports & Fitness Center and over 15,000 people with disabilities served annually, across all ages and demographics, Ability360 is a nationwide leader in the disability community.

Gubernatorial nominee’s plans to attend rally spark Republican infighting in Kentucky