Kentucky Senate and House GOP elect leadership

Mark Payne
Mark Payne
Mark Payne is the government and politics reporter for LINK nky. Email him at [email protected]

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Senate President Robert Stivers (R-Manchester) and House Speaker David Osborne (R-Prospect) will serve another term in the legislature’s top seats after the Kentucky state House and Senate Majority Party elected their leadership last week.

Republicans hold supermajorities in both the House and Senate and gained additional seats in this general election. Eighty Republicans and 20 Democrats take up seats in the House, and 31 Republicans and seven Democrats occupy seats in the Senate.

The Democrats are expected to announce their leadership positions in the next month, though significant changes are afoot.

The Senate lost Sen. Morgan McGarvey (D-Louisville) as Minority Floor Leader. McGarvey won the U.S. Congressional Seat formerly held by Louisville’s John Yarmuth. Democrats also lost outgoing Sen. Dennis Parrett (D-Elizabethtown), the minority whip, to retirement.

In the House, the minority party lost Minority Floor Leader Joni Jenkins (D-Louisville) to retirement and Minority Whip Angie Hatton (D-Whitesburg) in the general election.

The only change for the Republicans comes in the House, where Rep. Jason Nemes (R-Louisville) joins leadership as Majority Whip, replacing outgoing Rep. Chad McCoy (R-Bardstown).

Osborne was nominated for a third term, which is a first for a Republican in the history of Kentucky.

“I do not take this opportunity lightly and appreciate the faith that my colleagues have placed in me,” Osborne said. “I also recognize that the people of Kentucky have entrusted all of us with passing legislation that reflects their values and priorities. They know the great potential our Commonwealth possesses and expect us to work together to realize it.”

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Speaker Pro Tempore David Meade (R-Stanford) was also elected to a third term.

Both Meade’s and Osborne’s positions are constitutional roles, meaning they will need to be affirmed by the entire House on Jan. 3, 2023, when the General Assembly convenes in Frankfort.

House Majority Floor Leader Steven Rudy (R-Paducah) was unopposed for a second term, and House Caucus Chair Suzanne Miles (R-Owensboro) was also elected for another term.

The majority party maintained all their leadership positions in the Senate, including Sen. Stivers. Pro-Tempore David Givens (R-Greensburg), Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer (R-Georgetown), Majority Caucus Chair Julie Raque Adams (R-Louisville), and Majority Whip Mike Wilson (R-Bowling Green) all ran unopposed.

“Our caucus members have spoken, and their trust in existing leadership is a testament to our strong working relationship,” Stivers said. “Senate leaders and the entire majority caucus will continue to prioritize sound public policy and fiscal responsibility in the 2023 Legislative Session as we lead with the confidence Kentucky voters have placed in us.”

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