FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky's new Republican attorney general submitted the paperwork Thursday to put President Donald Trump's name on the ballot in Kentucky — a state the president easily carried in 2016 and where he looms as an overwhelming favorite in this year's election.
Attorney General Daniel Cameron downplayed impeachment as any lingering factor in Trump's popularity, saying most Kentuckians “aren't terribly concerned" about the Washington drama.
“I think that Kentuckians get up every morning and what they're interested in is a president that is trying to make sure that our economy is moving in the right direction," Cameron told reporters.
A group of Kentuckians supporting Trump's removal from office rallied at the state Capitol earlier this week.
The task of delivering Trump's paperwork to the secretary of state's office was a plum assignment for Cameron, who is seen as a rising Republican star. Cameron made history last year in becoming the first African American in the state's history to be elected attorney general. Cameron is a protege of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, having worked as the senator's general counsel.
Cameron was joined by other prominent Republicans, including state Treasurer Allison Ball and state GOP Chairman Mac Brown, as he delivered the paperwork to put Trump's name on the state's ballot. Cameron told reporters that Trump's team reached out to him and asked him to handle the task.
Trump remains a towering presence in the state. Kentucky's U.S. senators — McConnell and fellow Republican Rand Paul — are Trump allies. In the state's legislature, Republicans running the state Senate have designated a bill targeting illegal immigration as their top priority.
Trump's run for reelection comes in the same year that McConnell is seeking a seventh Senate term. McConnell has drawn several potential Democratic challengers, including Amy McGrath, a retired Marine combat pilot and former congressional candidate.
In last year's election, Trump was unable to deliver victory for then-Gov. Matt Bevin's reelection campaign. Bevin, a Republican who made his support for Trump a big part of his campaign message, narrowly lost to Democrat Andy Beshear despite an election-eve rally in Lexington where Trump touted Bevin. Political observers in both major parties have blamed Bevin's habit of picking unnecessary fights for his own defeat.