House Minority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins won Rowan County in last month’s Democratic primary election for governor with 89 percent of the vote. On Monday, he asked those voters to flip their support to the man who beat him statewide: Attorney General Andy Beshear.
“We need to flip that over,” Adkins told a crowd at the Fuzzy Duck coffee shop in Morehead this week. “You know how to get that done. You’ve done it for me for years and years and years.”
Beshear, with Adkins by his side Monday, spent the day touring eastern Kentucky in hopes of winning over conservative-leaning Democrats who didn’t support him in the May 21 primary, when he won only 38 percent of the Democratic vote in a tough three-way race.
Beshear, who won the Democratic nomination with strong support in Lexington and Louisville, must now convince rural Democrats that he’s a better bet for their economic future than Gov. Matt Bevin, a Republican who is trying to tie Be-shear to the socially-liberal stances of the national Democratic Party.
“We’re the forgotten part of the state, as well as Western Kentucky,” said Susette Redwine of Morehead. “We have as many wants and needs as Lexington and Louisville and we need attention, too.”
Redwine, who described herself an “avid” supporter of Adkins, said Beshear must commit to participating in “small town politics” to gain support from people in Morehead. Redwine said she believes Beshear is sincere in his desire to win over Eastern Kentuckians.
“He’s committed to being out here,” Red-wine said.
On Monday, Beshear worked through an updated version of his stump speech, focusing on health care, education and good paying jobs as he painted the race as a contrast between himself and Bevin.
“I hope you see that just like Rocky I am passionate and I am committed to a better Kentucky,” Beshear said. “You don’t have to look any further than the eight- and nine-year-old I raise every single day ….”