SB&D’s 2023 Southerner of the Year

Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear

A native Kentuckian, Andy Beshear grew up in Fayette, Franklin and Clark counties. He is the son of Steve and Jane Beshear, the 61st Governor and First Lady.

Gov. Beshear graduated magna cum laude from Vanderbilt, and earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. After working for an international law firm in Washington, D.C., he and his wife Britainy moved back to Kentucky, where he would work at Stites & Harbison.

Beshear became Kentucky’s 50th Attorney General in 2016. During his term as Attorney General, he worked tirelessly for families, fighting against the opioid epidemic, expanded access to health care for over 400,000 Kentuckians and managed the rising costs of prescription drugs.

On the economic front, Gov. Beshear has captured $30 billion in private sector investments, landed more than 900 projects and created in his first term nearly 50,000 full-time jobs. The state has seen double-digit wage growth and record low unemployment.

Continuing its long history with Ford Motor Co., Beshear helped guide the automaker to the former Glendale Megasite in Hardin County where Ford’s BlueOval SK Battery Park is being built, a $6 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs.

While Gov. Beshear’s accomplishments rival his father’s two terms as governor, it is the same bipartisan approach that Andy brings to his politics that impresses us.

During his acceptance speech after winning his second term, Andy Beshear said the election was about choices. “It was a victory that sends a loud, clear message, a message that candidates should run for something and not against someone. I think what you saw last night was a rejection of anger politics, of attempting to divide us and of gross partisanship,” said Beshear. “People are tired of the constant bickering, of seeing the world in red or blue or Team D or Team R. I think everybody who runs for office ought to come with the very best ideas about how to move us forward.”

Like father, like son. We named Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear our “Southerner of the Year” in 2012 and the headline read “Finding Inspiration Wherever He Can.” Both  men are and were very popular Democrats in a Red state. Gov. Andy Beshear holds the highest approval rating of any Democratic governor in the country, and earlier in 2023, a poll showed that half of Republicans in the Commonwealth were pleased with his job performance.        


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