Kentucky Attorney General-Elect Daniel Cameron Promises to Fight Drug Epidemic

Kentucky Attorney General-elect Daniel Cameron makes his victory speech to the audience gathered at the republican party celebration event in Louisville, Ky., Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)
Timothy D. Easley/AP Photo

Newly elected Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron did more than win a top spot in the commonwealth’s government. He also made history as the first black to be elected to the post, and he is also the first Republican to be elected attorney general in more than 70 years.

Cameron beat Democrat House Speaker Greg Stumbo in Tuesday’s off-year election.

In April, the Kentucky-based magazine Commonwealth Journal profiled Cameron and his promise to take on the drug addiction epidemic if elected as the state’s top cop.

“I certainly think that the attorney general should be the tip of the spear in confronting the challenges [of drugs],” Cameron said in the magazine interview. “We lost, based on the most recent numbers, 1,565 individuals to drug overdoses here in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”

“I think we can do better than that, especially if we have an attorney general who is paying diligent attention to this issue,” Cameron said.

The magazine reported that the road to his history-making election if filled with accomplishments:

Cameron’s resume is filled with achievements that he hopes will make him a viable candidate for the voters to choose. He spent both his undergraduate and graduate years at the University of Louisville, going to the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law.

He graduated into a career that included working under federal U.S. District Judge Gregory Van Tatenhove for two years, returning to Louisville to join a practice, then, in the early months of 2015, accepting an offer to become the legal counsel for Senator Mitch McConnell.

“I handled the legal and compliance issues for the office, but in addition to that I had a legislative portfolio, so I handled judicial nominations for the senator,” Cameron said.

But Cameron said his favorite work has been working with men and women first responders.

“What I was most proud of was the opportunity to work closely with Kentucky law enforcement. I was the liaison for the office in all matters related to Kentucky law enforcement,” he said, adding that it gave him an up-close look at the battle against drugs.

“I became intimately familiar with the day-in-day-out challenges that they confront. … So I took all those experiences and came back to Kentucky in June of 2017,” Cameron said. “I wanted to continue to be a meaningful contributor to the conversation around the drug epidemic and ultimately made the decision to get in the race for attorney general.”

The article reveals the conservative values he will bring to the table as attorney general. He stated:

I think on the question of cannabis – I believe that the general assembly should make that decision – but for my view, my judgement, I think anyone who’s running to be the chief law enforcement officer in the Commonwealth of Kentucky needs to have an opinion that consistent with law enforcement. The personal view that I have is that I’m just not supportive of recreational usage of marijuana. I have grave concerns about that.

There’s a lot of people that question whether it’s a slippery slope, if it’s a gateway drug, and so I think we’ve already got enough challenges as it relates to the drug epidemic here. I’d be worried about inserting another one into the equation.

He also commented on his religious values and how they have shaped his pro-life stance:

I’m 100 percent pro-life. A lot of that is based on my own faith journey and my relationship with Christ, and so that’s a place from which that discussion starts for me. So, I fully agree with what the general assembly has done as it relates to the pro-life movement we have here in Kentucky.

“Now it’s time to not only to talk the talk, but walk the walk,” Cameron said in his victory speech. 

“And so we have a responsibility in the coming days to work with whomever, regardless if you have a Republican designation by your name or if you have a Democrat designation by your name,” Cameron said. “Now the real work starts.”

EEW online magazine reported on Cameron’s victory:

Cameron won despite Stumbo attacking him for lack of experience and a lawsuit from a Louisville man who alleged Cameron didn’t have enough of a resume to run for the office. 

A judge in Louisville sided with Cameron in the lawsuit challenging his experience, ruling that Cameron’s years as a federal law clerk counted toward the constitution’s eight-year requirement of being a practicing attorney.

Despite opposition, Cameron credits the intercessory prayers of his mother for his big win.

“The Bible and Jesus often referred to a rock or a cornerstone as being essential to any foundation,” Cameron said in his victory speech. “Those references are found over and over in Scripture, and there can be no mistake that my mom Sandra Cameron has been a rock for me my entire life.”

“She’s been interceding for me and this campaign team with the Lord the entirety of this campaign, and she’s been covering us up, so I’m so grateful to her,” Cameron said.

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