GLASGOW – Former United Nations Ambassador and Republican gubernatorial primary candidate Kelly Craft welcomed friends, family, and supporters to her hometown as she rolled out her campaign.
Reading from a presidential-style teleprompter in front of a few hundred supporters including several state lawmakers Craft invoked former President Donald Trump and attempted to nationalize the race.
Axiom Strategies founder and CEO Jeff Roe was among the crowd as Craft initiated a call and response attempting to tie Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear to President Joe Biden.
“They called us fascists and extremists, so let me tell you this – I voted for Donald Trump twice, and I have worked for him for four years and I am unapologetic about being pro-life, defending our veterans, and defending the second amendment,” she said.
Craft is countering Trump’s endorsement of Daniel Cameron in the governor’s race by reminding potential GOP primary voters of her time in the Trump administration.
“President Trump sent me into that snake pit that is the United Nations for a reason,” Craft said later in her speech. “He knew this Kentucky girl would be strong enough to stand up for American, for Kentucky values. And tough enough to take on Communist China.”
“If I can stand up to those guys you bet I can stand up to Joe Biden and Andy Beshear.”
Hundreds came to the rollout in front of the Barren County Courthouse which had the atmosphere of a festival complete with food trucks serving BBQ and ice cream, and staffers handing out Kelly Craft for governor hats, t-shirts, stickers, and a few yard signs. The crowd waxed and waned with some of the early attendees finding dinner and a t-shirt before leaving and a new group taking their place.
Several elected Kentucky officials were in attendance for the speech, including state Sen. Max Wise, Rep. Jason Nemes, Rep. Sarge Pollock, Rep. Steve Riley, and Rep. Josh Branscum.
Rep. Nemes, R-Louisville, is endorsing her in the race after recently speaking to her at an event. She’s the best person to win, he said.
“She’s as strong as new rope,” Nemes continued.
Kentucky Democratic Party Chair Colmon Elridge made his own comparison casting Craft as the next Matt Bevin.
“Bevin-backing billionaire Kelly Craft, who’s bought every public office she’s ever had and then didn’t show up for work, just kicked off her campaign with the phoniest rollout money can buy,” Elridge said. “But Craft can’t write a check to hide her jaw-dropping lack of qualifications or experience. And her D.C. consultants can’t hide the fact that she lists her address in another state and did more than anyone else to elect her pal Matt Bevin as governor.
“Kentuckians rejected Matt Bevin in 2019, and they don’t want a bigger-budget sequel.”