Incumbent Gov. Andy Beshear may have beaten Daniel Cameron by a slim margin in this week’s gubernatorial election, but the Kentucky county in which Breonna Taylor was killed by Louisville police overwhelmingly rejected the state’s Republican attorney general largely blamed for not holding anyone accountable for the 26-year-old Black woman’s death.
Beshear was able to secure nearly 53% of voters’ support, compared to slightly more than 47% for Cameron, in what otherwise appeared to be a relatively close contest.
But a closer look at the data suggests that voters in Jefferson County likely haven’t forgotten Cameron’s role following the infamous botched no-knock warrant raid in 2020 that killed Taylor.
In Jefferson County, Beshear got in excess of 100,000 more votes than Cameron received, according to exit polling data reported by NBC News.
Nearly 180,000 voters – or 70% of Jefferson County’s electorate – cast their ballots in favor of Beshear. Those figures stood in stark contrast to the nearly 77,000 Jefferson County residents who voted for Cameron, who received just 29.9% of the vote there.
The exit polling data was not broken down along racial lines. And while Census data shows that Black people comprise about 23% of the populations in both Jefferson County and Louisville proper, chances are that most of Jefferson County’s Black voters did not support Cameron, who was the subject of a negative ad campaign in the days before Tuesday’s election that accused him of ignoring Black values and called him “the same man who refused to seek justice for Breonna Taylor.”
It’s a narrative that Cameron, 37, has been unable to shake since he declined to charge any of the Louisville police officers who were involved in Taylor’s killing. His decision not only sparked outrage in the community but also led to grand jurors publicly stating that Cameron’s prosecutorial team limited them in what charges they could consider, sparking claims that he intentionally sabotaged any chance at justice for Taylor and her family.
That lack of charges, in turn, prompted Tamika Mallory, who was on the front lines of protests demanding justice for Taylor, to call Cameron a “sellout” based on his clear and deliberate actions.
“I thought about the ships that went into Fort Monroe and Jamestown with our people on them over 400 years ago and how there were also Black men on those ships that were responsible for bringing our people over here,” Mallory said after a grand jury indicted just one the three cops who shot at Taylor in a charge that did not hold him accountable for the preventable police violence. “Daniel Cameron is no different than the sellout negroes that sold our people into slavery and helped White men to capture our people, to abuse them, and to traffic them while our women were raped, while our men were raped by savages.”
In August, the U.S. Department of Justice did what Cameron would not and indicted two former Louisville police officers and one current Louisville cop who were all involved in the shooting death of Taylor on March 13, 2020.
A little more than three months later, Kentucky voters made sure Cameron would not be elected governor.
Cameron’s career in politics is likely far from over.
Prior to his gubernatorial ambitions, Cameron was described in part by CNN as Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell’s “protégé, having served as the senator’s general counsel from 2015-2017.” He is also largely seen as McConnell’s eventual successor, a prospect that seems like it may happen sooner rather than later if the 81-year-old longtime Senator’s recent history is any indication.
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