Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton

Kentucky Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton sat down with WDRB's Lawrence Smith

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- In an interview with WDRB News, Kentucky Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton said she did not vote for her boss, Gov. Matt Bevin, in the Nov. 5 election. Bevin lost the race to Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear.

“I did not vote for him. I didn't. It was his to lose, and he lost it. I couldn't do it. I just couldn't. He lost my vote. I'm really sad to say that,” said Hampton.

Hampton called it “a very difficult decision,” but said she voted for Libertarian candidate John Hicks.

“I'm Libertarian-leaning. I'm Republican, but leaning Libertarian,” she said. “But I just couldn't vote for him (Bevin).”

It was a long way from the early days of the Bevin administration when Hampton made history by becoming the first African American to win statewide office in Kentucky.

“My feeling on that was I wasn't running to be first anything. I just wanted to help make Kentucky better,” said Hampton.

Hampton said early on, she and Bevin got along well.

In fact, in 2017, Hampton said she turned down a job in the administration of President Donald Trump. Hampton said it was too early in her term as Lt. Governor, and she thought she could do more by remaining in Kentucky.

“We were really looking forward to doing a lot of things, and I did feel part of the team in the beginning,” she said.

But Hampton said before long, Bevin began hinting that she might be dropped from his 2019 ticket.

“Maybe a couple of years ago, he started hinting,” Hampton said. “But really I didn't find out for sure until 30 minutes before he filed that he was replacing me.”

The governor replaced Hampton with State Senator Ralph Alvarado. Hampton said she was but not offended by the move.

“No. Not offended. Again, it's the governor's prerogative who they run with,” she said. “I'm really not disappointed because I recognized that the Lord was doing something else. He was steering me elsewhere. He has another plan.”

But in May, Hampton posted her now-famous tweet, asking for prayer as she battled "dark forces."

She later revealed that the Bevin administration was firing two of her key staffers without her consent.

“That is baffling to me, even now. I don't understand why there was so much attention on my office at all.”

In an eye-opening move, the Lt. Governor took the Governor to court.

“The governor's office, they were digging in, and I needed my staff.”

Hampton said she did not consider the politics of how the lawsuit could impact Bevin’s reelection campaign.

“They should have thought about that to begin with. They should have factored that in before handling things the way they handled them,” Hampton said.

Hampton lost the case, but said she believes the way Bevin treated her played a part in his loss to Beshear.

“The people of Kentucky were paying attention, and they just didn't like what they saw.”

Hampton said she still likes Bevin, and takes no pleasure in his defeat.

“It makes me sad that he won't have a second term because he got a lot of things done. He really did get a lot of things done in these four years, but how you treat people matters.”

After her term expires, Hampton said she would like to continue her work with young people. She has visited more than 200 schools teaching entrepreneurship and speaking against bullying and suicide.

Hampton said she is not ruling out politics.

“I'm not ruling anything out. I've learned my lesson. I wait on the Lord, and I'm not ruling anything out.”

Hampton said it was her faith that got her through the turmoil of her last few months in office.

“All things are possible through Christ. I know this. I know I can't always see over the hill. I can't see the plan, but everything that's happened these past four years is for a reason.”

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