Democratic Attorney General-elect Andy Beshear pledges cooperation with Republican Governor
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- Kentucky's soon-to-be Attorney General says he will not play politics as the state's top law enforcer.
But Andy Beshear will face unique challenges as one of the few remaining Democrats in Frankfort.
In his first news conference as Attorney a General-elect, Democrat Andy Beshear carefully avoided any talk of potential conflict with the new Republican Governor.
There will soon be a new name outside the Attorney General's office and as Andy Beshear announced his transition team, he talked cooperation -- not confrontation.
“What I've told the team members is that, number one, the time for partisanship is over,” said Beshear.
But Beshear is in a unique position to oppose Governor-elect Matt Bevin. A fact Bevin himself acknowledged on election eve as he campaigned with Beshear's opponent Whitney Westerfield.
“This man has got to be the next Attorney General. Do not send me to Frankfort and fail to send him there to protect my flank, it's critical,” said Bevin at the time.
But Beshear, the son of the current governor, was one of two Democrats to survive the Republican landslide.
“I hope to form a good relationship with Governor-elect Bevin. I hope on many things that we can work together,” he said.
Beshear will not say yet whether he will challenge Bevin's plan to dismantle Kynect, the state health exchange Beshear's father started.
Nor will he comment on Bevin's promise to change marriage license forms to accommodate county clerks - like Kim Davis - who oppose same sex marriage. Something Gov. Steve Beshear said he could not legally do.
“One part of my job is to provide advice to the Governor when asked. I would hope we would be consulted on that, and we would begin the conversation there,” Beshear told WDRB News.
For now, Beshear is emphasizing the positive, saying he'll make good on promises to fight drug and child abuse, help seniors, and end the backlog of untested rape kits.
“This is a job where when you go in everyday, you're not a Democrat or a Republican, you're the Attorney General and the people's lawyer,” said Beshear.
While the new governor will take office next month, Beshear and the other constitutional officers will not be sworn in until January.
Here are the members of Beshear’s Transition Team:
- Tim Longmeyer, chairman, former Secretary of the state’s Personnel Cabinet.
- J. Michael Brown, outgoing Secretary of the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet
- Holly McCoy-Johnson, currently a member of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, serves as Kentucky Malt Beverage Administrator
- John Moberly, former Kentucky State Trooper and ex-Commander of the Executive Security Branch
- Susan Reiber, currently serves as Chief of Staff to First Lady Jane Beshear
- Bob Vance, former Secretary of the Public Protection Cabinet
- Michael Wright, served in the Attorney General’s office for more than 20 years, including prosecutor, branch manager and litigation manager.
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