Daniel Cameron back in Kentucky politics? Ex-AG, gov candidate creates PAC

Daniel Cameron is back. But this time, it’s not as a candidate — at least not yet.

The former Republican attorney general and candidate for governor in 2023 has formed a political action committee to assist like-minded candidates in Kentucky.

The group is called All 120 PAC, in reference to Kentucky’s 120 counties. Cameron lost to Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear by five percentage points last November, but won 91 of Kentucky’s counties. It was further proof that much of the commonwealth’s smaller communities have largely shifted to the political right in recent years.

Cameron formed the group in late March with the same treasurer as his 2023 campaign, according to records with the Federal Election Commission. The group has not reported raising any money as of its April 10 filing.

The former attorney general said his PAC intends to spend money on only in-state Republicans, and the decision to form it was made in conjunction with his wife Makenze.

“Makenze and I are growing our family here and care deeply about our commonwealth. That’s why we’re committed to helping public servants who believe in a brighter future for the men, women and children of all 120 counties,” Cameron said.

As a super PAC, All 120 PAC can raise unlimited sums of money from individuals and groups.

In a brief interview, Cameron did not rule out the possibility of running for another office in Kentucky in the near future. Oftentimes, candidates use PACs to curry favor with other candidates whose support could prove helpful down the road — such has been the speculation as Beshear plans to use his own PAC to support candidates in Kentucky and elsewhere.

As Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has announced his departure from leadership later this year and gone through public health-related episodes, Cameron’s name has come up as one of several who could replace the Kentucky Republican should he not run for re-election in 2026.

Cameron began his political career in McConnell’s office and has deep ties to the longest-serving Senate leader in history.

The 38-year-old attorney’s name has also been floated for 2027, when Kentucky Republicans will get to take a shot at the governor’s chair without the unique challenge of unseating Beshear — governors can only serve two terms.

Tres Watson, a conservative strategist and former spokesperson for the Republican Party of Kentucky, said the move helps Cameron “keep the door” open on another political run.

“When you’re out of office, the best way to curry favor and stay in the game is by creating a super PAC — you’re able to raise money, move money around to other candidates and stay visible with the party, with candidates, and with your donor base,” Watson said.

“Fundraising is a skill just like any other, and if you don’t keep your chops up you could lose them.”

Not long after falling short in the 2023 election, Cameron took a job as CEO of an organization dedicated to pushing back on “woke” capitalism and corporations.

Cameron’s group, the 1792 Exchange, is largely focused on criticizing corporations that use ESG — short for environmental, social and governance — practices.

ESG has become a frequent target for conservative lawmakers and groups across the country of late who frame it as an unwise business practice and an example of putting politics over an organization’s bottom line.

Cameron made history as the first major party Black nominee for Kentucky governor. He also became the state’s first Black attorney general in 2019 when he defeated former Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo.

In 2023, Cameron ran a race against Beshear focused on bringing down the incumbent governor’s popularity in the state, being tough on crime, reforming education and transgender issues.

Cameron won the primary in blowout fashion against well-funded and established competition. He scored the endorsement of former GOP president and current presumed nominee Donald Trump almost a year before the primary election.