A largely friendly race between the Republican candidates vying to oust vulnerable Kentucky Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear took a turn this week as allies of former U.N. Ambassador Kelly Craft took aim at state Attorney General Daniel Cameron, describing him as a “soft establishment teddy bear.”
The group, Commonwealth PAC, launched the ad, titled “Teddy,” on Monday, just one day ahead of the first Republican primary debate of the race.
“Daniel Cameron is nice, but he’s no strong Kentucky conservative,” the ad says. “When the Biden administration tried to stop construction of the border wall, Republican attorneys general filed suit against Biden’s woke agenda. But Daniel Cameron refused to sign.”
“With illegals and deadly fentanyl flowing across Biden’s open borders, who would we rather have leading Kentucky? A conservative grizzly bear, or Daniel Cameron, Kentucky’s soft establishment teddy bear?” it said.
Cameron’s campaign released a statement responding to the ad on social media
“It’s flattering to be attacked this early because it shows the strength of our lead, and also lays bare the fact that my opponents know they can’t win on their own merits. I know voters are smart – they’ll see this for what it is – silliness,” he said.
Additionally, he changed the profile picture of his campaign Twitter account to a teddy bear wearing a t-shirt that says, “I [heart] Cameron.”
Cameron received the endorsement of former President Donald Trump early in the race, while Craft has so far garnered the support of Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., the chair of the powerful House Oversight Committee.
Craft and Cameron are joined by 10 other Republican candidates in the race, including Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles. Cameron, Craft and Quareles are seen as the early front-runners considering statewide support through early endorsements and fundraising.
The primary will be held Tuesday, May 16.