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Accusations of Nepotism and Pedicures in Kentucky Attorney General Race

J. Tyler Franklin/Louisville Public Media

  If you listened to the candidates at the Fancy Farm Picnic on Saturday, this year’s race for attorney general is about nepotism and pedicures.

Democrat Andy Beshear, an attorney and son of Gov. Steve Beshear, is running against Republican state Sen. Whitney Westerfield, a former prosecutor who worked on this year’s high-profile heroin legislation.

As first reported by CN2, Westerfield once took time off work to get a pedicure, according to a personnel file from when he was an assistant commonwealth’s attorney in Hopkinsville. That revelation has become the subject of attack ads produced by the Kentucky Democratic Party and fodder for his Democratic opponent.

Credit J. Tyler Franklin/Louisville Public Media
Andy Beshear

  “Now Fancy Farm is that special time of year where politicians try to avoid putting their foot in their mouth. Well we know if my opponent puts his foot in his mouth it’ll be clean, well-trimmed and polished,” Beshear said during a speech at the Fancy Farm Picnic on Saturday.

Westerfield is the chair of the state senate’s judiciary committee and has led on legislation designed to curb heroin use and dating violence. He responded that he’s “ready to go toe to toe” with Beshear, accusing him of having too little experience to be attorney general.

“We don’t need ladder-climbing politicians, and we certainly don’t need someone whose looking for on the job training,” Westerfield said.

Westerfield also accused Beshear of milking his father’s political networks to raise funds.

As of the last reporting deadline, Andy Beshear had nearly $1.5 million in his campaign account—a lot of money for someone not running for governor.

Westerfield, had only $8,700.

According to Friday’s Bluegrass Poll, Beshear leads Westerfield by 7 points.

Ryland Barton is the Managing Editor for Collaboratives for Kentucky Public Radio, a group of public radio stations including WKMS, WFPL in Louisville, WEKU in Richmond and WKYU in Bowling Green. A native of Lexington, Ryland most recently served as the Capitol Reporter for Kentucky Public Radio. He has covered politics and state government for NPR member stations KWBU in Waco and KUT in Austin.
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