Election 2019 Politics

Former White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders threw her support behind Gov. Matt Bevin’s reelection campaign during an event in Louisville on Monday.

Sanders praised Bevin for his backing of President Donald Trump and said voters need to reelect him to build up “a great base of support ahead as we go into what we know is going to be a very difficult 2020 race for the president.”

“This is the beginning and it starts with all the people right here,” Sanders said.

“I’m not here to ignite the base or anything else. I’m here to support my friend. Because I care about the country and I care about the future of states like Kentucky.”

Bevin has been getting a lot of attention from national Republican figures as he faces a tough challenge from Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear during this year’s race for governor.

On Friday, Politico reported that President Donald Trump will travel to Kentucky for a rally on November 4, the night before the election. Trump has already stumped for Bevin at events in Louisville and Cincinnati this year.

Bevin dismissed the notion that Trump’s election eve event has been scheduled in reaction to low polling numbers in Kentucky, saying that the president is doing so because “he’s a man of his word.”

He also hinted that the event might not take place at all if the president’s schedule doesn’t allow him to.

“There’s a possibility things could — with all pun intended — trump his ability to be here. However, if that does not happen, I’m absolutely confident he’ll be here,” Bevin said.

Republican U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, of North Carolina, also spoke at the event to endorse Bevin.

Bevin has ranked as the least popular governor in the country according to a poll by Morning Consult following a series of gaffes and inflammatory comments about teachers.

During his reelection effort, Bevin has played up his connections to Trump, who is popular in Kentucky.

Last year Trump buoyed the campaign of Kentucky’s 6th district Congressman Andy Barr during a tough race when he held a rally a little more than a week before Election Day.

Bevin said he did not know where Trump’s rally would take place.

“I don’t get to pick these things, I really don’t,” Bevin said. “The president and the secret service and his schedule have far more to do with dictating what and where and when, but conversations are happening and we’ll let them unfold as they do.”

Bevin and Beshear will debate on Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. Eastern, 6 p.m. Central at Singletary Center in Lexington.

Ryland Barton is the Capitol bureau chief for Kentucky Public Radio.