Kentucky attorney general candidates agree that northern Kentucky is key in combating spread of heroin

10/07/2015 04:21 PM

FLORENCE – Candidates for Kentucky’s attorney general say curtailing the heroin problem in northern Kentucky will be the key to controlling the spread of the drug state wide.

Democratic nominee Andy Beshear and Republican nominee Whitney Westerfield made the comments on Wednesday at the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Candidate’s Forum which also featured the candidates for agriculture commissioner, Republican Ryan Quarles and Democrat Jean-Marie Lawson Spann.

Westerfield told the chamber members in attendance that he would push for the General Assembly to send a good portion of funding for treatment and drug enforcement to northern Kentucky where the greatest need is.

“The objective evidence that this is where the money needs to go is clear,” Westerfield said. “Why doesn’t it end up here? I don’t know. It’s because I didn’t get to write the check.”

Beshear referred to his three-pronged plan he released on Monday to fight drug abuse in the state through enforcement, treatment and education.

Beshear said stopping the flow of the drug from northern Kentucky is the key to controlling the problem in the rest of the state.

“This is where it’s coming in and this is where we’ve got to battle,” Beshear said. “We have to push our state legislature not for $10 million, but for hundreds of millions of dollars. This is our most significant crisis.”

Beshear reiterated that better interstate cooperation between Kentucky and Ohio is key.

“We’ve got to be able to pursue these drug dealers here in northern Kentucky, when they go back to Cincinnati, and vice versa,” he said. “I mean this is a problem that knows no state bounds or no county bounds.”

Westerfield feels that his experience as a prosecutor in Christian County and a legislator will help him if elected as attorney general to advocate for what is needed to combat the drug issues affecting the state.

“I would use as the next AG, the office, to influence policy the best I could for public safety,” Westerfield said. “The current attorney general nor my opponent, neither one, have spent anytime advocating the legislature or petitioning the legislature.”

Beshear and Westerfield will be featured in a live one hour debate on KET on Monday, October 12 at 8:00pm ET.


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