Pucker up buttercups, the next four years could be challenging for Eastern Kentucky. The Gov.-elect, Andy Beshear, is no dummy and he knows how he was treated at the polls in this region. I hope he truly can set aside politics and do what is right for all of Kentucky, not just in the regions he won.
For this region to be ignored by Frankfort is nothing new. And it’s a good thing that we have had good representatives from this region in Frankfort over the years or this region would be further behind — even if one did go to jail.
There are rumblings now that the two Republicans who represent this area — Sen. Wheeler and Rep. Blanton — will face heavy opposition in their next elections. The Democratic governor will want a fully Democratic house and senate so they can take over control again.
During Bevin’s campaign for reelection, he visited Eastern Kentucky a lot. He offered grants and money to come pouring into this region adding jobs and economic growth. It’s yet to be seen if any of that will come to fruition or if that was truly the effort to get re-elected.
Beshaear, during his campaign efforts, didn’t spend too much time in this region, which may be the reason why he didn’t do too well here. The next few months will be telling.
Gov.-elect Beshear can override the funding for those projects and use the funds elsewhere. And that would not be surprising. If our elected officials who are still in office want any hope to continue their tenure, they had better march on down to Frankfort and start the proverbial kissing to ensure that funding stays here.
Elected officials on every level need to embrace the newly elected governor and start to mend the gap. Mayors, city officials, county judges, sheriffs, jailers and everyone who is getting state funding for any project needs to make nice with the new governor.
The big question is how the pet projects like eKAMI and SOAR will be affected by the new governor. They were projects that were catapulted by Republicans Hal Rogers and Bevin. Beshear could stop funding to those projects if he feels they are not producing to their potential. Or if he feels they are not part of his agenda to move Kentucky forward. Heads of these organizations should be n Frankfort in line to plead their case with Beshear.
It’s good to see that Rep. Harris has been appointed to Beshear’s transition team, it offers some hope that tis region may be well represented to the governor. For Harris, this could lead to bigger and better things as he may play an important role in Beshaer’s cabinet. If that’s the case, Harris is holding a lot of cards. And some people need to rethink their strategy.
Regardless of how you voted or what you think about Andy Beshear or his newly-formed cabinet, he won the election and will be our leader for the next four years. He campaigned on rebuilding this state and securing the future. I hope that his promises are meant for all the people of Kentucky and not just the people who voted for him.
He will be our governor and I will support his efforts.
Thanks for reading the News-Express.