Somerset Mayor Alan Keck Joins Crowded GOP Gubernatorial Field

The 12th Republican entering the field for the Republican primary for governor to take on incumbent Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear is different from the rest of the field.

Alan Keck, the first-term Mayor of Somerset, Kentucky, a city of 12,000, announced his candidacy for governor of Kentucky Monday evening before family, friends, and community supporters.

Keck told Kentucky Fried Politics a year and a half ago he was eyeing a run, and since that time he has appeared at mainstay campaign events across the state.

The 37-year-old delivered his announcement inside The Virginia, downtown Somerset’s century-old, newly renovated live performance venue — a show of what Keck’s campaign says is his success in reviving Somerset’s economy and downtown.

Sharing a vision for Kentucky, Keck, who was re-elected as mayor in this month’s election, said serving Somerset has been the honor of a lifetime. Kentucky is facing complex challenges — a workforce crisis, stagnant growth, and rising crime — and needs an experienced leader in the public and private sectors to solve them, he said.

“We’re losing the battle against our neighboring states because of a lack of vision, a lack of leadership, and quite frankly, archaic policy,” Keck said. “Kentucky needs a CEO. Someone with experience in public and private sectors who understands the struggle of the working family and the needs of the business community. Someone with a heart for service and a desire to empower and inspire Kentuckians to work toward a better future.

“We’ve had incredible success in Somerset changing the narrative,” Keck said. “I’m ready to change the narrative for my home state, working to create policies that reflect our values and make Kentucky more safe and competitive. I’ve never been more convinced that with this in focus, Kentucky can win again.”

He also laid out his platform called Keck’s game plan outlines strategies for improvement in four categories: Economy, Family, Public Safety, and Education.

The Kentucky Democratic Party Chair Colmon Elridge leaned in on Gov. Andy Beshear’s economic success in his first term as governor in a statement following Keck’s announcement.

“Andy Beshear is one of the most popular governors in the country because he is creating a better Kentucky for all of our families, already announcing more than 40,000 jobs and shattering economic development records, while leading our people through historic storms and other unprecedented challenges. The mayor is now the 12th candidate in what is shaping up to be a crowded, expensive, and nasty race to the extreme fringe of the GOP. Next year, Kentuckians will have a clear choice between one of the most popular governors in the country and whoever emerges from the crowded, brutal Republican primary.”

Republicans will nominate their candidate for governor in May of 2023.