Beshear Fundraising Email Targets Kelly Craft’s $2.5 M Purchase of Grand Champion Ham for Charity

Gov. Andy Beshear, D-Kentucky, is stirring up supporters for campaign cash with fears of a billionaire entering the governor’s race.

Former United Nations Ambassador Kelly Craft, who is married to billionaire coal magnate Joe Craft, is nearing a run for governor of Kentucky, but it’s her $2.5 million purchase of the state fair grand champion ham, with proceeds benefitting eastern Kentucky flood relief that has the governor emailing supporters.

“Kelly Craft, a Trump-appointed former UN ambassador, is expected to announce her campaign for governor next month. Craft is a billionaire who just spent $2.5 million on a ham at the state fair this week. If she’ll spend that much on ham, we know she’ll spend even more to buy this governor’s seat,” Beshear’s recent fundraising email reads.

Craft bought the grand champion ham which raised $5 million for charities in eastern Kentucky, and it’s that political maneuvering that could also be cause for concern to the Beshear campaign.

“Here at Kentucky Farm Bureau, we are proud to serve our fellow Kentuckians. From hosting this morning’s charity auction to responding to natural disasters in Eastern and Western Kentucky, our people proudly show up and help. We are grateful for all those within the Commonwealth and others from around the country who have been generous in contributing to the relief fund,” said Mark Haney, President of Kentucky Farm Bureau the morning of the ham breakfast and auction. “In addition to the work being done by Kentucky Farm Bureau Insurance and our county Farm Bureaus, we have been on the ground with our members in Eastern Kentucky who will depend on local organizations for months and years to come as the communities rebuild. We are proud to invest in the work these organizations are doing as another way to help our fellow Kentuckians in need.”

Through the purchase of the 17.25 pound ham produced by Broadbent Country Hams in Cadiz, KY, Central Bank and Joe and Kelly Craft will each donate $2.5 million to charity. Craft said the purchase of the ham was about caring for Kentuckians in need.

“Following the recent floods in Eastern Kentucky and the ongoing recovery in Western Kentucky, it’s more important than ever for all of us to put our best foot forward and take care of our neighbors in communities across Kentucky. We’re so grateful to be with Kentucky Farm Bureau today and have the opportunity to contribute to such a wonderful cause, while highlighting the importance of Kentucky agriculture with Kentucky Proud farmers and food,” said Joe and Kelly Craft.

Craft will have money to spend, and the donation is a great example of the spend in action – showcasing her political strategy to gain exposure by using her vast wealth at a premiere political event while donating to eastern Kentucky flood relief in an adjacent political context.

Beshear should be able to capitalize and fundraise on her movements towards a race and her wealth. He currently has high ground when it comes to leading during natural disasters. However, Craft is making inroads to compete on that level if she becomes the GOP nominee next year.