Bevin says he's looking for 'conservatively-minded' people as he fills his cabinet
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- He has his overalls and boots on, and he's ready to get to work.
So says Governor-Elect Matt Bevin as he prepares to take the reins of power.
In a one-on-one interview, Bevin sat down with WDRB to talk about the election, the transition and his first priorities as Governor.
Bevin says he was not surprised to win, but even he was not expecting the landslide. Now, the governor-elect is putting his team in place to hit Frankfort running.
It was Governor-Elect Matt Bevin's first major public event: the Veterans Day parade through downtown Louisville.
Bevin says he never imagined all this when he first arrived at Ft. Knox as an Army officer in 1990.
"It's amazing how life unfolds. I think things happen for a reason. I'm grateful about this opportunity," he said.
Bevin was clearly enjoying the brief break from the job of putting together his new cabinet. And he's not ruling out appointing some Democrats.
"I'm more interested in conservative ideas, and there are plenty of conservative Democrats still in this state. That was evident by the way people voted. And I need conservative thinking in Frankfort. I need to lead a group of people who are conservatively-minded," said Bevin.
Bevin is riding a wave of support into the governor's office. It’s a mandate, he says, for change.
"What I look at when I see that is not, 'Hey, now it's our turn to get our hands in the cookie jar,' or 'Boy, we showed them' or any of that. What that was is a cry for help that transcends any party."
Bevin's first job, beyond the transition, is a budget. He says not to expect any radical moves right away. He says he'll make good on pushing his conservative agenda, but also knows he can't do everything at once.
"There's an old saying: 'If you chase two rabbits, you won't catch either one of them.' And that is very true. And I don't intend to chase every rabbit, everywhere," he said.
Bevin met on Tuesday with Gov. Steve Beshear, and he says he remains committed to dismantling Beshear's legacy program, the Kynect Health Insurance exchange.
"I'm going to make sure we do this in as seamless a way as possible to ensure that people are covered without upsetting their lives," said Bevin.
Bevin says he is not feeling the weight of his new job. He calls it an opportunity.
"We have great opportunity here in the Commonwealth, unbelievable opportunity. I'm excited by it, I really am. But it will be hard work. We got our overalls on, we got our boots on. We got some serious wood to chop here in the Commonwealth."
Bevin says he'll name is chief-of-staff on Thursday.
On Wednesday, he launched a transition website where people can apply for jobs.
You can access that website here.
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