Gubernatorial candidate Andy Beshear stopped by the Calloway County Democratic Party Headquarters in Murray today as a part of his Team Kentucky bus tour.
Beshear was joined by other major democratic candidates for state positions, including his running mate for lieutenant governor, Jacqueline Coleman; Michael Bowman for state treasurer; Heather French Henry for secretary of state; Robert Conway for agricultural commissioner; Sheri Donahue for state auditor; Greg Stumbo for attorney general; and Rocky Adkins, current majority leader. Beshear was also joined by his father, former Gov. Steve Beshear.
The Murray campaign stop is one of many the Democratic candidates have made in recent weeks as a final push to encourage voters to go out to the polls on Nov. 5.
“This entire week we have been traveling from Paducah to Pikeville, getting out the vote and energizing the voters,” Meredith Scalos, director of operations and campaign spokesperson for Greg Stumbo, said. “It’s been amazing because it’s happened a little bit in the opposite way. Everyone is so fired up. Democrats all across the state, and Independents and Republicans as well, are all super fired up about this election and really supportive of this ticket and these candidates. We’ve been getting out the vote the good, old-fashioned way: hand-to-hand.”
Health care, public education and retirement have been major focuses throughout this election. The candidates were joined on the stairs of the Higgins House by supporters of Beshear’s policies on public and higher education.
“It’s the average, everyday issues that affect Kentuckians of all shapes, sizes and colors,” Scalos said. “Public education, workers rights, unions rights and health care – the things that really affect us everyday. Those seem to be the things that everyone’s really fired up about.”
Steve Beshear introduced his son Andy Beshear and was quick to share that Andy Beshear would be the best candidate to represent Murray State.
“Is it time to end the war on public higher education,” Steve Beshear asked the crowd. “You want a governor that stands up and fights for Murray State University.”
Andy Beshear continued with the theme of being an advocate for the University and Kentuckians across the state.
“We are just one day away from what I believe can be a victory not just for the people on this porch, but for every single Kentucky family,” Beshear said. “The very future of higher education is on the line tomorrow, because Murray State and other universities do not survive another four years under Matt Bevin. Our job is to make sure that there is not another four years of Matt Bevin.”
Candidate Beshear was adamant in his belief that he was the best representative for western Kentucky.
“I believe in a bigger, brighter future for western Kentucky, where it is no longer left out and left behind,” Beshear said. “I will fight for you from Frankfort and from right here in western Kentucky every single day I serve.”
This message seemed to resonate with some Murray voters. Beshear supporters are concerned the current administration is not meeting their needs like Murray resident, Eva King.
“There’s public education, I don’t think the state should go with chartered schools,” King said. “Also, health care – I don’t think people with pre-existing conditions should be denied health care coverage.”
The Democratic candidates had an overall message of unity within the party. Beshear’s former opponent in the Democratic primary, Rocky Adkins, announced his support of Beshear and said neither had a bad word to say about the other. Adkins and the other candidates also made the specific effort to encourage continued canvassing and outreach to bring voters to the polls.
“We have come here to lay it at your feet,” Adkins said. “This election lays in your hands. It lays for you to be able to get on the telephone [and call] your families, your friends [and] your coworkers. At the end of the day, it’s all at the ballot box.”
Voter turnout is an important factor in the election this year. The polls have not predicted a definite winner.
“I think it’s going to be a turnout game,” Scalos said. “These off-year elections usually are, but it’s going to be about who gets the voters out to the polls.”
Citizens of Murray have heard the call of their chosen candidates and are putting in the work to see them elected. Many have canvassed to spread the word on why they support their candidates.
“I’m a strong supporter of Andy Beshear,” King said. “I’ve been canvassing and knocking on doors, encouraging people to go [out and vote]. I just believe in what he stands for. I think every vote is going to count, which is another reason I’ve been knocking on doors. It makes a difference. Every vote counts.”
Beshear has noticed the dedication of his support staff and volunteers who believe in the Democratic Party. He thanked them for all the hard work they have put in to get him elected, and promised to return the favor if he is placed in office.
“We are only in this position because so many of you have knocked [on] so many doors,” Beshear said. “In fact, this morning in Paducah I knocked the 1 millionth door of this campaign. We can’t quit. All day long, we need people canvassing. All day long, we need people on the phone. All day long, we need to send those text messages to people we know. If you give me everything you’ve got over the next twenty-four hours to win this election, I’ll give you everything I’ve got over the next eight years as your next governor.”
The ability of voters to determine their own future is what makes the voting process so important. The choice, be it Republican, Democrat or Independent, is one that allows the students of Murray State to share their voices and have a say in the state government.
“Who you vote for and whether or not you vote affects the next four years.” Scalos said. “These are issues that will affect every single decision that you or I make, and that’s everybody 18 to 103. It’s really important for people to take ownership over the process. I think this ‘Get Out the Vote’ bus tour has been really important, because so many people feel left behind by the system. Voting is really important and needs to be done, even when you feel a little apathetic about it.”
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