Attorney General Andy Beshear is set to make an announcement concerning the "future of Kentucky" Monday, stoking speculation that he will run for governor.
Political analyst Bob Babbage said he has "confirmation from various circles" that Beshear will announce he is running.
It appears Beshear's running mate will be Jacqueline Coleman, an assistant principal at Nelson County High School. A Google search for Beshear's website and Jacqueline Coleman points to a photo and biography on a version of a Beshear campaign website. His website is not yet live.
Coleman ran for Kentucky House of Representatives in 2014, when she lost to incumbent Rep. Kim King.
Beshear will make an announcement at 9 a.m. in Louisville, followed by a tour of the state. He will make stops in Lexington, Pikeville and Ashland on Monday, followed by Owensboro, Paducah and Bowling Green on Tuesday.
Beshear's office did not respond when asked if this was the launch of a gubernatorial campaign. Recently the attorney general has demurred when asked if he is running for governor.
"I’m still preparing for what I believe is a pretty big argument on the pension matter and that’s my sole focus at the moment," Beshear told the Herald-Leader last month.
Beshear has been a vocal opponent of the pension reform law passed by the Republican-led legislature this spring and is currently fighting Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin in court over the law.
The issue has been one of the most contentious topics in Frankfort this year, leading to wall to wall protests from teachers and public employees. Choosing Coleman as his running mate would signify that he'll continue making pensions an issue throughout the campaign.
Since assuming office in 2015, Beshear has been Bevin's primary political rival. The two have battled both in court and in public statements for the past two years: from Bevin's decision to remove Beshear's mother's name from the Capitol Education Center to Beshear's decision to release his tax returns at the 2017 Fancy Farm Picnic — a direct shot at Bevin.
Bevin was not immediately available for comment. He has not said whether he will seek a second term as governor.
"I think it's great that Andy Beshear is declaring so early because it will remind Kentuckians of the sort of corrupt pay to play, scandal plagued government they can expect if they vote to return Democrats to power," said Tres Watson, communications director for the Republican Party of Kentucky.
Beshear will likely have to face a primary in his bid to become the Democratic nominee for governor. Several prominent Democrats have been mentioned as considering a run including Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, former Auditor Adam Edelen, House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins, Rep. Attica Scott of Louisville and former Congressman Ben Chandler.