A shift in power at Ky. State Capitol as 5 newly elected leaders are sworn in
For the first time in modern history, three of the five constitutional officers are Republicans.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- A changing of the guard at the Kentucky State Capitol.
The constitutional officers elected in November, officially took office on Monday.
The new leadership is decidedly more conservative and much younger, changing the face of the Capitol.
New Republican Gov. Matt Bevin hosted in the Capitol Rotunda as the five new constitutional officers were sworn in.
At age 32, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles becomes the youngest statewide elected official in the country.
Treasurer Allison Ball, who is 34, is the youngest woman.
“I think it shows you that Kentucky is ready for the next generation,” Quarles told WDRB.
“I do think it says we’re sort of the cutting edge right now in Kentucky,” said Ball.
Cutting edge, indeed. For the first time in modern history, three of the five constitutional officers are Republicans; Quarles, Ball and Auditor Mike Harmon
“I think Kentucky is definitely going red. From the standpoint that there’s a lot of people that have seen what type of leadership we’ve had in the past. There’s been some good and some bad, but overall people want a change in direction, and that’s where we’re going to take it,” said Harmon.
The surviving Democrats are Attorney General Andy Beshear and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.
She's the only Democrat reelected, and says she'll not back off her priorities despite the Republican wave.
“I have a strong voice and, especially, a backbone. It’s about making sure that we stand up for all Kentuckians, and they continue to have an advocate here in the halls of Frankfort as I will continue to be,” Grimes told WDRB.
But for now, at least, everyone from the governor on down is talking unity.
“Every one of them is a public servant. Every one of them is dedicated to serving the people of Kentucky, and that’s our job. I mean, at the end of the day, that’s what we were elected to do, and I look forward to working with each and every one of them to make that happen,” said Bevin.
That unity gets put to the test starting Tuesday. The 2016 General Assembly convenes, and the fight over limited budget dollars begins.
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