Hoover elected House Speaker as Republicans take control for fir - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Hoover elected House Speaker as Republicans take control for first time since 1921

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KY House Speaker Jeff Hoover KY House Speaker Jeff Hoover
KY House of Representatives KY House of Representatives

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- It was a historic day at Kentucky's state Capitol on Tuesday, as Republicans took control of the House for the first time in nearly a century, the last chamber in the south to be held by Democrats.

That means that for the first time in modern history, Republicans have full control at the Capitol - the Senate, the Governor's Mansion, and now the House.

The new House majority's first order of business was electing Rep. Jeff Hoover of Jamestown, who spent 16 years as Minority Leader, as the first Republican House Speaker in 96 years.

“I am humbled and honored to stand here today,” Hoover told the House chamber.

Hoover promised a more civil tone in the House. He told WDRB earlier that he will get things done, but in a way that respects even the now-minority Democrats.

“I just think I would be the biggest hypocrite in Kentucky if, now that I am Speaker, the things that I’ve complained about for 16 years, I now allow them to continue," Hoover said. "We don’t intend to do that."

It was a day of ceremony and celebration, especially for the new members such as Rep. Jason Nemes of Louisville. But he knows they now must produce results.

“It kind of weighs on you in a good way,” Nemes said. “It makes you want to do the right thing. It’s an overwhelming day, but an exciting day, I think.”

Republicans hold not just a majority in the House, but a super-majority of 64-36. That means the new Democratic minority can do nothing to stop the GOP agenda.

“There's no question it’s different," said Rep. Rocky Adkins (D – Sandy Hook.) Democrats elected Adkins, the former Majority Leader, to be the new Minority Leader. "But we look forward to working with the majority when they have policy that we believe is good for Kentucky. But, we’ll be that loyal opposition to hold them accountable when we believe they’re not."

This will be a short 30-day session, but with the GOP now in full control at the Capitol, Gov. Matt Bevin has great expectations.

“Expect this to be a legislature that gets more done in any given week or month or session than has been done in any given decade in any of our lifetimes," Gov. Bevin said Tuesday. "Mark my words on that."

On Wednesday, both chambers get down to business with economic issues such as right to work, as well as abortion bills topping the agenda.

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Preparing to make history, incoming GOP House Speaker says he’s overwhelmed, but ready to go

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