Beshear: ‘I was grateful to shake the hands of so many hardworking Kentuckians’ Skip to content

Beshear: ‘I was grateful to shake the hands of so many hardworking Kentuckians’

Governor Beshear made his support of labor and working people very clear. And where was Cameron?

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The big crowd of union members and their families that gathered for Louisville's annual Labor Day picnic at Kentucky Kingdom included the Kentucky State AFL-CIO-endorsed candidate for governor.  

“I was grateful to shake the hands of so many hardworking Kentuckians today at the 23rd Annual Greater Louisville United Labor Picnic,” Gov. Andy Beshear posted on X (formerly Twitter) on Labor Day. “Thanks to you and our strong workforce, our economy is strong and our future is bright.” 

“It was great to be with y’all at the 23rd Annual Greater Louisville United Labor Picnic today!” he posted on Facebook. “Unions bring hope to an individual, security to a family, and prosperity to the Commonwealth. Together we’re building an economy that works for all – not just the few.”

The Derby City picnic is sponsored by the Greater Louisville Central Labor Council. “We had a great turnout although the sun was very, very hot through the day,” said Tim Morris, GLCLC executive director. “There were families not just from the greater Louisville area but folks from Owensboro, folks from Paducah – folks from all across Kentucky that joined us.”

He said the picnic turned out to be more than a celebration of Labor Day for workers and their families, as Beshear proclaimed this Labor Day “Union Disaster Relief Day”  in Kentucky. Explained Morris: “On this special day, the governor and the commonwealth of Kentucky recognized the hard work of all our labor unions and our partners through United Way to support and protect and uplift the folks in eastern and western Kentucky that went through the disastrous tornadoes and flooding that happened in late 2021 and summer of 2022.”

Beshear is a Democrat. Attorney Gen. Daniel Cameron, Beshear's Republican opponent, skipped this year’s union-oriented Labor Day programs, which were held statewide from Paducah to Catlettsburg. 

Cameron; GOP state Sen. Robby Mills, his running mate; GOP AG candidate Russell Coleman; Republican Congressman Brett Guthrie; and some state legislators, evidently all Republicans, showed up for the Grayson County Labor Day Parade in Leitchfield. 

The official parade tee shirt proclaimed “I’D VOTE FOR LAETTNER BEFORE BESHEAR,” a reference to Duke basketball star Christian Laettner whose buzzer-beating shot eliminated Kentucky from the 1992 NCAA basketball tournament. The tee shirt, plus the presence of Cameron and the other GOP luminaries, suggested the procession was more of a Republican rally than a program honoring working folks.

Here’s a sampling of media coverage of Labor Day festivities across the state:

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Berry Craig

Berry Craig is a professor emeritus of history at West KY Community College, and an author of seven books and co-author of two more. (Read the rest on the Contributors page.)

Arlington, KY

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