Attorney General Andy Beshear will launch a run for Kentucky governor this week and his running mate will be Jacqueline Coleman, an assistant high school principal and political recruiter.
Beshear, a Democrat, sent out a press release on Sunday promoting a series of speaking events across the state on Monday and Tuesday in order to make an “announcement concerning the future of Kentucky.”
No one has formally launched a campaign for governor ahead of the 2019 election cycle, including Republican Gov. Matt Bevin.
Beshear has been at political loggerheads with Bevin and the Republican-led state legislature in recent years — most recently he sued to block changes to the state’s pension system that were signed into law earlier this year.
A judge ruled that the changes were unconstitutional because Republican leaders of the legislature rushed the bill to passage too quickly, Bevin has promised to appeal the decision.
Beshear is the son of former Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear, who feuded with Bevin after leaving office — launching a nonprofit to oppose Bevin’s efforts to dismantle elements of the Affordable Care Act in Kentucky.
Political analyst and former state auditor Bob Babbage said that “based on what I’ve been told, I feel very confident” that Beshear will announce a run for governor on Monday.
Beshear’s campaign website AndyBeshear.com isn’t live, but Metadata on the page suggests that Beshear’s running mate will be Jacqueline Coleman, an assistant principal at Nelson County High School.
Coleman is also the founder and president of Lead Kentucky, a nonprofit that recruits and trains women to run for political office in the state.
She’s also a member of the Kentucky Democratic Party’s central executive committee and ran for a the 55th district seat in the state House of Representatives in 2014, but lost to Republican Rep. Kim King.
Public education and the state’s ailing public pension systems will likely be contentious topics during the governor’s race after teachers and other state workers descended on the state Capitol earlier this year to protest changes to pension benefits and call for more education funding.
According to Beshear’s press release, his first stop on the speaking tour will be 9 a.m. at the Kentucky Center for African-American Heritage in Louisville.
He’ll then make stops in Lexington, Pikeville and Ashland on Monday and on Tuesday head to Owensboro, Paducah and Bowling Green.