FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — Attorney General Daniel Cameron made history in more than one way as he was sworn into office on Tuesday.
Cameron is not only the first African American to serve as Kentucky's attorney general, but, he is also the first African American independently elected to a statewide office in Kentucky.
Only one other African American, former Lieutenant Governor Jenean Hampton, was elected to a statewide office in Kentucky. However, she was elected as part of a ticket, not as an individual candidate. She was former Gov. Matt Bevin's running mate in 2015.
Cameron ran for attorney general on his own, making him the first African American elected to a statewide office as an individual.
After Cameron took the oath, he spoke about the history of this moment.
"I hope it says to people who look like me, that regardless of what you're political affiliation is, that not only can you cast you ballot in an election, but you can also put your name on that ballot, that you will be judged on your merit and your talent and your skills, rather than the color of your skin," said Cameron. "I think that's what we all want as Kentuckians. I think that's what we all want as Americans."
Normally, attorney generals get sworn in in January. However, Cameron will get a head start on the job because he is filling the vacancy left when former Attorney General Andy Beshear became governor. Beshear made the appointment official through an executive order.
Despite Beshear being a democrat and Cameron being a republican, both have expressed the desire to have a good working relationship.
"I know you will do a great job," said Beshear. "Most people don't know that the new attorney general and I have known each other for a significant period of time. I know he is intelligent. I know he is compassionate. And while sometimes we may disagree on some things, I know he comes from a good place - that his convictions are real. I believe that is what's going to make our relationship so positive, and I hope, so powerful for the people of Kentucky."
"I appreciate Governor Beshear for making this very early appointment," said Cameron. "It says a lot about the culture and the atmosphere and the environment that I think begins anew here in our state's Capitol."
Beshear and Cameron previously worked together at a private law firm.
Cameron is Kentucky's 51st attorney general.