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Kentucky Statewide Elected Officers Take Oaths in Frankfort

Allison Lundergan Grimes

Kentucky’s remaining constitutional officers were sworn in Monday, with all but one of the five posts changing hands.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, a Democrat elected to a second term, was the only official sworn in Monday who had previously served in a statewide positions.

But most have deep connections to state government. Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear is the son of former Gov. Steve Beshear. Two new statewide officers had just ended tenures in the state House: state Auditor Mike Harmon and Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles.

Treasurer Alison Ball is the only political newcomer; she previously worked as a bankruptcy attorney and assistant prosecutor in Floyd County.

Harmon, Quarles and Ball are Republicans.

The new tenants in the state Capitol represent a political sea change in Kentucky — the state went from having four Democrats and one Republican constitutional officer to three Republicans and two Democrats.

Republican Gov. Matt Bevin and Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton took office last month. On Monday, Bevin said he has faith in the constitutional officers and looks forward to working with them.

“We have different parties that we represent, different ideologies even within our own party, but at the end of the day we serve the people of Kentucky,” Bevin said.

When asked how she feels about being in the minority party in the state Capitol, Grimes said little has changed when it comes to her job.

“I think the approach to good government remains the same,” Grimes said. “For me, good government is about compromise.”

Ryland Barton is the Managing Editor for Collaboratives for Kentucky Public Radio, a group of public radio stations including WKMS, WFPL in Louisville, WEKU in Richmond and WKYU in Bowling Green. A native of Lexington, Ryland most recently served as the Capitol Reporter for Kentucky Public Radio. He has covered politics and state government for NPR member stations KWBU in Waco and KUT in Austin.
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