8:27pm

Tue November 27, 2012
State Capitol

Eastern Kentuckians Lead General Assembly

The State Senate Republican Caucus has officially nominated Senator Robert Stivers for Senate president. Stivers’ new role won’t be official until it’s voted on by the full chamber in early January. But the GOP holds a 24-14 advantage, meaning Stivers is all but certain to succeed former Senate President David Williams. Williams left the Senate to take a position as a circuit judge.

Independent Senator Bob Leeper also ran for the presidency in the GOP caucus. And even though he challenged Stivers, the soon-to-be president says he won’t strip Leeper of his budget committee chairmanship.

“The decision making process, and I think I can speak for the group, is not going to be one based on something in the nature of retaliatory, it’s going to be looking at the issues we have,” Stivers says.

Senators Damon Thayer and Brandon Smith were also voted into leadership positions, which take effect immediately.  Thayer is the new Majority Leader and Smith is the new Majority Whip for the chamber.

Stivers says over the next full weeks, the new leadership team will start digging into the next session’s issues.

“And coming the next couple of weeks this group will be meeting, discussing agenda, preparing for our caucus retreat and then preparing to be the group that has led the way in policy for the last 13 years," he says.

Stivers won’t officially become president until the full chamber votes. Lawmakers return to session on January 8.  With Stivers' promotion, two eastern Kentuckians will lead the General Assembly.  House Speaker Greg Stumbo, a Democrat, comes from Prestonsburg.