State Rep. Savannah Maddox joins Republican field for governor in 2023

Regarded as one of Kentucky's most far-right legislators, Maddox is the fourth Republican to enter the 2023 gubernatorial race.

A Northern Kentucky state legislator regarded as one of the General Assembly’s most far-right conservative members is running for governor.

State Rep. Savannah Maddox, 34, of Dry Ridge in Grant County, launched her campaign website on Monday and prepared to officially announce her candidacy in the 2023 Republican primary. She is the fourth GOP member and the first woman to enter the 2023 gubernatorial race. 

“Our hard-working families cannot afford to revert back to the stale, liberal policies that have left our state behind,” the Maddox campaign website states. “We must move forward and continue to advocate for strong, conservative policies that will attract industry to our state, create jobs, and secure a promising future for all Kentuckians.”

Savannah Maddox

Maddox represents the 61st House District and serves State Government, the Veterans, Military Affairs & Public Protection, and the Transportation committees. She was elected in 2018. 

She joins three other Republicans — State Auditor Mike Harmon, Commissioner of Agriculture Ryan Quarles and Attorney General Daniel Cameron — who have announced they are running for the Republican nomination with an aim to deny Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear a second term in office. 

The campaign website describes Maddox as an “Authentic Republican Fighter” and the site includes photos of former president Donald Trump and a “Make American Great Again” hat. 

Maddox touts her sponsorship of legislation that passed in the General Assembly to allow gun owners to carry a concealed weapon without a permit.

“Our 2nd Amendment rights are constantly on the brink of being jeopardized by liberal activists and those who would willfully misinterpret the Constitution,” she says. “It is imperative that all efforts be made on the state and federal level to preserve and protect our God-given right to keep and bear arms. I will fight to ensure that these rights ‘shall not be infringed,’ as the Founders intended.” 

She also points to her opposition of Beshear’s COVID-19 policies. She has called the governor a “tyrant.”

“During Andy Beshear’s 2020 reign of terror and tyranny, I stood strong. I fought the Governor’s unconstitutional mandates and lockdowns every step of the way, from Day 1. I fought for the Kentuckians who were banned from attending church on Easter Sunday; for the students who were kept out of the classroom for over a year; for the businesses that were shut down; and for every citizen whose constitutional rights and individual liberties were trampled upon. I will never back down from protecting our right to live freely, and I will lead from the front even when it is not politically expedient.”

Although Republicans have an overwhelming majority in the legislature and in the state’s constitutional offices, polling indicates Beshear is the most popular Democratic governor in the country, with a high approval rating in the commonwealth.

A report on the Morning Consult poll conducted earlier this year stated, “Not a single Democrat ranked among the 10 most popular governors, but Kentucky’s Andy Beshear came close. Ahead of his re-election campaign next year, 59% of Kentucky voters approve of Beshear’s job performance, while 36% disapprove, making him the most popular Democratic governor in the country.”

The poll surveyed 601 registered voters in every state from the start of January through the end of March. 

State Rep. Savannah Maddox joins Republican field for governor in 2023

Jennifer P. Brown | Hoptown Chronicle

Jennifer P. Brown is co-founder, publisher and editor of Hoptown Chronicle. You can reach her at editor@hoptownchronicle.org. She spent 30 years as a reporter and editor at the Kentucky New Era. She is a co-chair of the national advisory board to the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, governing board president for the Kentucky Historical Society, and co-founder of the Kentucky Open Government Coalition.