(AP) – Kentucky state Rep. Savannah Maddox on Monday was poised to officially enter the crowded field of GOP candidates running for governor in 2023, portraying herself as an “authentic Republican fighter” in hopes of outflanking her rivals with her ultra-conservative themes.
Maddox launched a campaign website ahead of her scheduled “big announcement” Monday evening in northern Kentucky – her home territory and a key battleground in next year’s GOP primary.
Setting the tone for her campaign, the website said that Maddox’s “unyielding determination to protect our constitutional rights and liberties has set a precedent for what Kentuckians should expect when they put their trust in a public servant.”
Maddox was an outspoken opponent of restrictions that Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear put on businesses and gatherings to try to contain the spread of COVID-19. Beshear, who is seeking a second term next year, says his actions saved lives and reflected guidance from the White House coronavirus task force when Republican Donald Trump was president.
This year, Maddox unsuccessfully pushed for legislation that would have barred employers, including in the private sector, from requiring their employees receive COVID-19 vaccinations.
Maddox’s website also touts her staunch opposition to abortion and support for gun-ownership rights. In 2019, she successfully championed legislation to allow legal gun owners in Kentucky to carry a concealed handgun without a separate permit or training.