5:49pm

Tue May 31, 2011
Statehouse News

Former Rep. Eddie Ballard Dies

Praise is pouring in for former Kentucky Rep. Eddie Ballard of Madisonville, who died Tuesday at age 81.   The Hopkins County Democrat, who retired from the legislature last year, had served in the  Kentucky House since 1987.  He was chairman of the Tourism, Development and Energy Committee and vice-chair of the State Government committee. 

Before retiring from the legislature, Rep. Ballard would rise from his desk each day the House was in session and ask the Speaker to excuse all absent members.

The ceremonial duty was generally the most Ballard spoke on the floor.  He wasn’t prone to long-winded speeches.  But everyone knew where the Democrat and self-employed businessman stood on the issues, especially veterans’ affairs. 

In fact, lawmakers made sure the Western Kentucky Veterans Nursing Home in Hanson was named for Ballard, who served in the U.S. Air Force.  

Among those praising Ballard is Gov. Steve Beshear.  “Eddie Ballard was a stalwart of his community.”

House Speaker Greg Stumbo called Ballard “one of the most authentic people I know and a tremendous advocate for his constituents.”

Eddie Ballard, dead at 81.