The Republican leader of the Kentucky Senate believes the election outcomes this week could carry political weight for future races. Robert Stivers attended Andy Barr’s Election Night event Tuesday.
Both the senate and house GOP majorities will remain strong in 2019. Stivers believes that bodes well for Governor Matt Bevins’ attempt at re-election. “And the voters came out and said they realize we want the republicans in control of the legislature because they’re going to solve the problems. And that’s no different from what Governor Bevin has said. He is here to solve the problems. And again, I’m going to say, ‘has his rhetoric been good?..no, but I think people understand that. He’s a private sector guy,” noted Stivers.
House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins, who’s hinted at a gubernatorial run, issued a statement to Democrats Tuesday. He said, in part, quote, “I saw firsthand that our candidates and their supporters put everything they had into their campaigns, but we faced an uphill battle because of a nationalized climate and the unfortunate rise of dark money and negative attacks.”
The 2018 Kentucky general assembly session saw historically high numbers of educators coming to Frankfort protesting proposed changes in public pensions. A number of teachers opted to run for legislative seats.
But, Tuesday’s results showed republicans maintaining a super majority with many of those GOP lawmakers backing pension changes. House Education Committee Chair John Carney, an educator himself, believes some of the teacher ire subsided over time. “As time went on, many teachers and educators really got to look into the legislation itself and maybe some of that frustration died down a little bit. Now obviously there was still a lot of anger,” said Carney.
Carney says a survey of Kentuckians this year has shown many support further reform when it comes to the public education system.