Kentucky State Senator and Attorney Whitney Westerfield (R – Hopkinsville) filed paperwork Tuesday to run for state Attorney General citing Kentucky’s opioid epidemic, and the desperate need to find solutions to a horrific drug crisis, as his primary reason for running.
Westerfield announced his candidacy through an interview released on CN2 and separate announcements on Facebook, Twitter and his campaign website, WhitneyWesterfield.com.
“We need better measures to curb drug addiction and overdose deaths besides simply pointing out the problems,” said Westerfield. “I have spent my time in office creating legislation that expands opportunities for struggling Kentuckians and reforming policies that fail to address the real issues.”
Westerfield was elected to the 3rd District in 2012, representing the people of Christian, Todd and Logan counties in Western Kentucky; He has served as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee since his election. “As an attorney who serves Christian County residents, I have practical experience dealing with our government’s policies. As a public official, I work very hard to build trust and to find common ground with people on both sides in order to get things done,” said Westerfield.
In the CN2 interview that aired Tuesday afternoon, Westerfield spoke about the challenges the Attorney General’s office faces including how to foster trust between the office and other branches of state government. He pledged, if elected, to step up litigation against excessive regulatory efforts by the Federal Government, expand the Attorney General’s cyber crimes unit, and work with the legislature on policy.
“The Attorney General’s office should follow the rule of the law. They cannot keep picking and choosing what they want to prosecute.” said Westerfield. “I’ve done criminal work as a prosecutor, I have worked with victims and I’ve worked with law enforcement. The office must be above reproach.”
Westerfield has been recognized for significant bipartisan legislation, including bills to address the treatment of heroin addiction, increase penalties and provide new tools for law enforcement against dealers, and expand protections for victims of dating violence. Westerfield sponsored SB 200 (2014) that brought about the largest reform to Kentucky’s juvenile justice system in 30 years. The legislation received national attention, has served as model legislation for several other states, and here at home has provided juveniles services needed to reform their lives instead of return to jail.
Westerfield worked five years as an assistant commonwealth attorney in Christian Cty. Past experience, as well as having a reputation as a workhorse in Frankfort, led him to run for Attorney General in 2015. The Kentucky Fraternal Order of Police endorsed Westerfield during the closely contested race. He received 49.9 percent of the vote to democratic opponent and current Attorney General Andy Beshear’s 50.1 percent.
Westerfield serves on the Board of Directors for the Kentucky Association of Child Advocacy Centers, a statewide resource for victims of child sexual abuse. Westerfield and his wife live in Hopkinsville with their daughter, and are expecting a baby boy in November.
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