There have been a lot of influential alumni of the University of Louisville over the years, one of them ascending the political ladder as far as Majority Leader (Mitch McConnell) in the U.S. Senate. A current firebrand and rising star of the GOP, former Cardinal defensive back Daniel Cameron who played for the 2006 Orange Bowl Champion squad, became the first African American Attorney General in the state’s history when he won the office in 2019. He  entered the state gubernatorial fray for this November, winning the Republican nomination this Spring.

Graduating from nearby John Hardin High School in Elizabethtown and being in Kentucky politics after graduating with both a bachelor’s degree and law degree from UofL’s Brandeis Law School, Cameron is all too familiar with how politics works in this state. Living in the bluegrass and metro area for most of his life he would have been exposed to how backwards the relationship between one of the state’s flagship schools and the lawmakers in Frankfort. Much of this relationship has been rocky over the course of the school’s history, sometimes making it feel to Cardinal fans that the school is on a persecuted island at times, especially when it comes to the makeup of its most vital leadership cadre, the Board of Trustees.

I got a chance to talk with General Cameron recently to find out just what his relationship is with his alma mater and why Cardinal fans would be inclined to vote for him four months from now.

Q: Being a two-time University of Louisville graduate, what is your current relationship with the school?

 Cameron: I obviously watch a lot of sports and try to make time for that probably more than any other way that I interact with the university. I also try to do things with the McConnell Scholar’s Program, but my allegiance to UofL obviously is an alum and the sports are the two biggest ways that I stay connected to the university.

Daniel Cameron discusses UofL issues with fellow UofL grad Steve Springer (UofLCardGame photo).

Q: A big point of contention within the UofL fan base for the last few years is the makeup of the Board of Trustees and many feel that they haven’t always had UofL’s best interests at heart, for example the dismissal of (former Athletic Director) Tom Jurich, amongst other things. Former governors Bevin and Beshear changed the Board of Trustees composition, resulting in UofL’s accreditation on probation at one point. What are your thoughts on that?

Cameron: Our legislature made some changes to the appointment process so that they have to be involved going forward and I certainly look forward to working with our legislature to make sure that we have good trustees in place that recognize that our schools aren’t about indoctrinating our kids, that are about free speech and different viewpoints and supporting our athletic program. That will certainly be important to me.

Q: A large portion of the fan base feels that UofL’s board needs more representation from UofL alumni, specifically people with vested interests in what’s good for the school, not what’s good for themselves professionally or politically. If you’re elected, would you be willing to address this issue for the betterment of the University?

Cameron: I think it’s obviously as someone who’s gone to the university and has great affections for the university means that they have some skin in the game and so we’ll certainly prioritize making sure that we have folks that not only are interested in the bottom line so to speak, but also you want to make sure that moving forward that they continue to be proud to be an alum of the university. So, I know that if you have somebody that went to UofL they would certainly represent and understand the concerns of folks that went to the university better than someone who didn’t.

Q: The UofL board has discussed plans to increase the enrollment from 23,000 students to 30,000-plus. Would your administration be supportive with financial support or other means?

Cameron: Our legislature has certainly made a commitment to all of our public universities and certainly we’ll make sure that we continue, but my perspective is the dollars that go to our universities, that we are making sure that they’re being used wisely, not being used to facilitate the indoctrination of our kids or to do something that would be inconsistent with the values of the majority of taxpayers. Obviously, we’ll be delighted to help support anything our public universities need, assuming that and with the understanding that they need to respect the values of our state and be an intersection of free thought, free expression and free speech. Those will certainly be things that I will focus on with all of our public universities.

Q: In regard to how you would support UofL, are there any other reasons why Cardinal fans should vote for you in November?

 Cameron: I obviously went to undergrad at UofL and stayed around for law school, and so I have a keen interest in making sure that the University succeeds. I put a little blood, sweat and tears on the football field for a few years and so I am keenly aware of just the importance of the University and how it can be utilized for good, not only in Louisville, not only in Kentucky, but for the nation. So I firmly continue to represent the University well and will continue to be an advocate.


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By Steve Springer

Steve Springer is a lifelong University of Louisville fan and was Volvo's "Biggest Fan of the Big East" in 2011. He's a sportswriter for the Murray Ledger & Times, in addition to teaching physical education. He graduated from Eastern High School, earned a Master's degree from the University of Louisville and his BS degree at Murray State University. His Twitter handle is @racercard.

One thought on “Gubernatorial candidate Daniel Cameron on UofL issues”
  1. I think Daniel was trying to answer some of these questions the best way he could without raising the ire of the wildcat fans across the commonwealth. All the right questions, but he had to be very careful lest he wind up in headlines. At least someone got the message through to him about UofL alumni. Thanks for doing the groundwork.

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