Sen. Whitney Westerfield files for attorney general

01/09/2015 03:30 PM

State Sen. Whitney Westerfield, a Republican from Hopkinsville, filed to run for attorney general Friday, becoming the second official entrant in the race behind Democrat Andy Beshear.

Upon entering the race, Westerfield automatically starts off nearly $1.6 million behind Beshear, whose campaign coffers have been stocked, in part, by donors connected to his father, Gov. Steve Beshear. Beshear announced his intent to run in November 2013.

Westerfield, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and 34-year-old attorney, told Pure Politics recently that if both he and Beshear make it through the primary unopposed the challenge “isn’t personal,” though he believes Beshear has to answer for his work in the private sector.

As Pure Politics reported in September of 2013 Beshear’s firm, Stites & Harbison, has represented companies that the attorney general’s office is pursuing in several legal cases.

Among the clients Beshear’s employer represents is Oxycontin manufacturer Purdue Pharma, which the state took to court in 2007. The case is still ongoing, and that could present an ethical dilemma for Beshear, who would have to face his former employer in court if elected attorney general.

In a phone interview with Pure Politics earlier this week, Westerfield said he thinks transparency is important, and he has never represented major corporate clients like that.

“It’s important to understand I’m not trying to represent anyone in trouble with the attorney general’s office,” Westerfield said.

The filing deadline for constitutional offices is January 27.

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