Daniel Cameron, a former legal counsel for Senator Mitch McConnell, won his race for attorney general of Kentucky on Tuesday, making him the first black person to be elected to the office in the state.
He was also the first black person to be independently elected to a statewide office in Kentucky, and the first Republican attorney general elected in the state in more than 70 years.
The current lieutenant governor, Jenean Hampton, is also a black Republican, but she was voted into office as Gov. Matt Bevin’s running mate in the 2015 election.
Mr. Cameron, 33, will replace Andy Beshear, a Democrat who defeated Mr. Bevin to become the state’s next governor. In his acceptance speech, Mr. Cameron said he would “get back to the bread-and-butter basics of being the chief law enforcement officer in defending and enforcing the laws.”
During his campaign, Mr. Cameron supported President Trump’s push for a border wall, and voiced traditional Republican views in opposing abortion and gun control. When Mr. Trump held a rally in Lexington on the eve of the election, he introduced Mr. Cameron by saying “a star is born.”
Mr. Cameron defeated Greg Stumbo, a Democrat who served as attorney general from 2004 to 2008 and was speaker of the state’s House of Representatives from 2009 to 2017.
Mr. Cameron, a former football player at the University of Louisville, overcame accusations that he was too inexperienced for the job, having graduated from law school just eight years ago. He served as Mr. McConnell’s legal counsel in Washington from 2015 to 2017, and since 2017 has worked at a private law firm.
He said in a recent interview with The Lexington Herald-Leader that his closeness with the Trump administration would help secure federal resources for the state’s fight against drugs.
“The time I spent working with our law enforcement community when I was Senator McConnell’s general counsel gave me the breadth of relationships, helping them confront what I, in many ways, think has become the public safety challenge of our lifetime — the drug epidemic,” he told the newspaper.