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Daniel Cameron taps state Sen. Robby Mills to be running mate

Kentucky Sen. Robby Mills portrait blue background
LRC Public Information
Kentucky Sen. Robby Mills, a Republican from Henderson, has sponsored several conservative measures that have passed into law in recent years.

The conservative legislator from western Kentucky has been a key player in conservative measures that have passed out of Frankfort in recent years.

Kentucky’s Republican candidate for governor Daniel Cameron has selected state Sen. Robby Mills as his running mate.

The Republican legislator from Henderson has served in the Senate since 2019 and previously served for one term in the state House.

During a news conference in Frankfort, Cameron emphasized that he wanted more cooperation between the legislature and governor’s office.

“Robbie Mills is the man for the job. He's got strong relationships with the legislature,” Cameron said.

Throughout his six years in Frankfort, Mills has sponsored a long list of conservative bills that passed into law–ranging from issues on abortion to propping up the state’s ailing coal industry. Mills is the chairman of the Senate State and Local Government committee.

He earned his bachelor in business management from Oral Roberts University, an evangelical university. He went on to run his family's dry cleaning service.

Cameron called Mills “a defender of our coal industry.” Cameron too has a record of undermining policies to combat climate change.

In recent years, Mills sponsored laws that make it harder for utilities to retire coal-fired power plants — a measure the power industry says will raise costs for ratepayers — and another that would divest the state from financial companies that boycott fossil fuels.

He sponsored the new law banning transgender girls from playing on girls sports teams last year and in 2020 he sponsored a law requiring voters to show a photo ID in order to cast a ballot.

Mills was also a proponent of SB150, the anti-trans bill that made it illegal for doctors to provide gender-affirming care to transgender youth and restricted how teachers talk about gender and sexuality in the classroom.

At the news conference Wednesday, Cameron described Mills as “the first person in Frankfort to sound the alarm about radical gender ideology.”

“The drugs that are being forced on our young folks is a terrible tragedy, in my opinion,” Mills said. “I'm very proud of the Senate Bill 150 work that we put together.”

The ACLU of Kentucky and National Center for Lesbian Rights are challenging the portion of the law outlawing gender-affirming care on minors in court. After initially being blocked by a federal judge, the law took effect Friday.

When he was still in the House, Mills sponsored a law requiring doctors to tell patients that medically-induced abortions can be reversed—an unproven procedure that advocates said interferes with the doctor-patient relationship.

Cameron and Mills will face incumbent Democratic Gov. Andy Behear and Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman in this year's race.

Alex Floyd, a spokesperson for Beshear's campaign, issued a statement criticizing Mills for supporting former GOP Gov. Matt Bevin, who lost his bid for reelection in 2019.

“Selecting the person who helped lead the charge to enact Matt Bevin’s plan to slash pensions for our teachers, police and firefighters shows how Daniel Cameron does not care about hard-working Kentuckians," Floyd wrote. "Andy is proud to be running with an active educator in Jacqueline Coleman, someone who understands the importance of public schools and public school teachers."

Cameron, Mills, Beshear and Coleman will all speak at next month's Fancy Farm political picnic, the informal beginning of the fall campaign season.

This story has been updated.

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Sylvia is the Capitol reporter for Kentucky Public Radio, a collaboration including Louisville Public Media, WEKU-Lexington, WKU Public Radio and WKMS-Murray. Email her at sgoodman@lpm.org.
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