Politics & Government

Democrat Andy Beshear makes his bid for attorney general official

Andy Beshear is seeking the Democratic nomination for Kentucky  attorney general. He is the son of Gov. Steve Beshear.
Andy Beshear is seeking the Democratic nomination for Kentucky attorney general. He is the son of Gov. Steve Beshear.

FRANKFORT — Democrat Andy Beshear made his 2015 race for state attorney general official Friday by filing declaration papers signed by his parents — Gov. Steve Beshear and first lady Jane Beshear.

The son and parents — along with his wife, Britainy, and their two children, Will and Lila — were together in the secretary of state's office when he became the first — and so far only — candidate to file for the job of Kentucky's chief law enforcement official.

Attorney General Jack Conway of Louisville cannot run again for the office because of term limits. Conway is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor next year.

Andy Beshear, who turns 37 on Nov. 29, is a Louisville attorney with Stites and Harbison.

He started his candidacy for attorney general last November. He has gotten off to a fast start in the race, reporting in July that he had raised more than $1.26 million for his campaign.

He also has received public endorsements from five prominent Democrats — former Attorneys General David Armstrong and Chris Gorman, State Auditor Adam Edelen, state House Speaker and former Attorney General Greg Stumbo and former State Auditor Crit Luallen.

Gov. Beshear said Thursday that Luallen is his choice to replace Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson, who is leaving the job next Thursday to work in the White House.

The younger Beshear is the second candidate to file to run next year for a constitutional office.

Former Erlanger city councilman Steve Knipper, 44, of Independence filed Thursday as a Republican to run for secretary of state. That office, now held by Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, keeps track of state business documents and oversees elections.

Grimes, who lost to Republican incumbent Mitch McConnell in this week's U.S. Senate race, is in her first term as secretary of state. She has the option of seeking re-election next year to another four-year term.

Knipper, an information technology project manager for health provider KentuckyOne, said in a phone interview that he thinks the office of secretary of state is "underutilized."

Knipper said he would like to see the office get involved in electronic registration of voters and provide tighter security over elections.

All state constitutional offices, including governor, are up for election next year.

Conway and two Republicans — Agriculture Commissioner James Comer of Tompkinsville and Louisville businessman Hal Heiner — already have announced their bids for governor and begun raising money, but they have not yet filed their candidacy declarations with the secretary of state.

Filing for statewide offices began Nov. 5. The deadline to file is 4 p.m. Jan. 27.