Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee endorsed Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin’s re-election bid Friday during a Republican campaign event in Western Kentucky.
The endorsement was made at the final stop of a campaign bus tour at the Casey Jones Distillery in Christian County. The tour featured many of the Republican candidates running for statewide office in Kentucky. Lee said Bevin encouraged him to run for governor of Tennessee and called himself a friend and admirer of Bevin. He said Bevin has been an inspiration to him partly due to Bevin being an “outsider.”
“He, too, came from the business world and he understands that the status quo and establishment is not the way to move the Commonwealth of Kentucky forward,” Lee said. “The way to move forward is to break and challenge the status quo.”
Lee said despite the two states being economic competitors, it matters to Tennessee what happens in Kentucky. Following Lee’s endorsement, Bevin took the stage to address the more than 100 people who attended the campaign stop.
Bevin said it’s imperative for supporters to “keep our foot on the gas” during the remaining 11 days before the election. He said as soon as they think the election is won, they will lose.
“We have never in the history of Kentucky ever had consecutive terms of a Republican governor,” Bevin said. “No governor has ever won re-election and no governor who was a Republican has ever followed another Republican governor. We’re trying to make history.”
A recent poll shows Bevin and his opponent Democrat Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear in a dead heat. Bevin’s victory in 2015 made him just the third Republican to hold the office in 65 years. The general election is on Nov. 5.