Following President Donald Trump’s first address before a joint session of Congress, the Democratic response will be delivered by former Democratic governor of Kentucky, Steve Beshear. And if that name sounds familiar, but somehow not quite right, you might be thinking of his son. It's worth knowing who Andy Beshear is because he’s got a political career all his own.
The elder Beshear, 72, left the Kentucky governor's mansion in late 2015 after meeting the state's term limits. He was replaced by the current governor Matt Bevan, who is a Republican. Andy, however, is still active in Kentucky government. In fact, he’s the attorney general of the Bluegrass State, and just hours before Trump’s address on Tuesday, it was announced that he’d reached a settlement with MERSCORP Holding, a major mortgage recording company, bringing $2.8 million to the state.
He’s also been embroiled in hostilities with Bevan, his father’s successor, with the governor accusing him of failing to defend the state’s controversial anti-abortion law requiring an ultrasound before a woman may terminate her pregnancy. Beshear, for his part, has said he will defend the ultrasound law, but will not defend the state’s ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
In the days prior to Trump’s address, Beshear also teased what the content of his father’s response might be. The younger Beshear told Kentucky’s Spectrum News that it would “shine the brightest and best light on Kentucky,” and would highlight “a moral obligation to take care of each other, and part of that is making sure that everyone has access to affordable health care.”
He did bat down the suggestion that his father might be eying a return to elected office at 72, however, despite the increased visibility the Trump rebuttal could bring.
I don’t know about that. I think he’s out there because he exemplifies the values that we as Kentuckians and as Americans are so supportive of. He’s been a governor of a state that you have to be able to talk to and relate to all different types of folks.
As for the younger Beshear, however, there’s no telling where his political career could take him. At just 39 years old, he has more than enough time ahead of him to continue to cement his role in Kentucky politics, or to someday vie for a national office.