A recent report by The Intercept revealed that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is allegedly actively working behind the scenes to eliminate a Kentucky statute that allows Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear to choose his replacement if McConnell does not finish his term in office.
At the top of McConnell’s list of successors sits Daniel Cameron, a longtime protege of McConnell and the embattled Kentucky attorney general who declined to pursue charges against the officers involved in the death of Breonna Taylor. McConnell is also reportedly considering former United Nations Ambassador Kelly Craft, whose husband handsomely donated to McConnell’s campaign, and Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams.
The Republican senator backs a bill in the Kentucky legislature which would permit the state executive committee of the same political party to choose from a list of three names to serve the remainder of the term until a senator is formally elected. Because Beshear is a Democrat, McConnell and supporters in the statehouse want to ensure his seat goes to another Republican.
“The new legislation, Senate Bill 228 — dubbed by some inside the state Legislature as the Daniel Cameron Election Bill — was filed on February 10, 2021, during the Kentucky General Assembly’s 30-day “short” session,” The Intercept writes.
The path to a successor is complicated and adds to a series of rumors surrounding McConnell’s future, as well as murmurings around his health. McConnell was re-elected in Nov. 2020, furthering a decades long-streak since he was elected senator in 1984.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has compiled a short list of successors in his home state of Kentucky, preparing for the possibility that he does not serve out his full term, Kentucky Republicans tell The Intercept. https://t.co/L3p9mbWlni
— The Intercept (@theintercept) March 4, 2021
Cameron and McConnell undoubtedly share a close mentor-mentee relationship. Cameron served as part of McConnell’s legal counsel team for two years where he took on a “legislative portfolio that dealt with a wide array of matters coming through the GOP leader’s office including the federal judiciary, law enforcement and criminal justice matters, patent and trademark issues, and Kentucky telecommunications and broadband access initiatives,” a 2018 USA Today report reads.
When Cameron announced his run for office in 2019, McConnell backed him as one of his biggest supporters. He also secured an endorsement for Cameron from Donald Trump, and was influential in the Republican National Convention selecting Cameron as a speaker.
Last summer a rumor which claimed Cameron’s second wife was McConnell’s niece was debunked after engagement photos of the two circulated on social media. The photos appeared in bad taste as protesters and supporters of Taylor’s family marched in the streets awaiting movement from Cameron’s office around the details of their investigation.
Months later Cameron, the first Black attorney general of the state, stood behind a podium and announced that his office couldn’t find pertinent cause to pursue murder charges against the officers involved in Taylor’s case. Only one officer, Brett Hankison, was charged with wanton endangerment for shooting recklessly into an apartment neighboring Taylor’s.
Instead the public, and most importantly, Taylor’s family, would be subjected to linguish in pain. If elected to office, Cameron’s past actions set precedence that he would only work to uphold the status quo, where Black communities are routinely subjugated to the systemic inequalities rooted in 400 years of chattel slavery.