Sen. Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, was selected to lead the Kentucky State Senate on Tuesday, replacing David Williams of Burkesville, who resigned recently to accept a judicial position.
Stivers election adds to the leadership posts in the Senate and House currently held by Eastern Kentucky legislators.
After gaining the nod from fellow GOP senators on Tuesday, Stivers responded to reporters saying he felt Kentucky has “real problems and it’s going to take real people sitting down and coming up with real solutions.”
He pledged to have an open dialogue with democratic leaders, including Gov. Steve Beshears.
“It’s not going to be something that one group can take credit for or take all the blame for,” said Stivers. “It’s going to have to be a kind of a shared sacrifice, and we’re going to have to have that type of dialogue between all respective groups.”
Sen. Brandon Smith said he is “very pleased with the results of yesterday’s majority leadership elections.”
“It takes a lot of wearwithal to run for any office, especially one amongst fellow elected officials,” said Smith. “I believe Sen. Robert Stivers will do an outstanding job as Senate president. I will work proudly with him and the rest of our leadership team, and caucus as a whole, as the majority whip.”
During Tuesday’s closed caucus in Frankfort, Smith, of Hazard, was chosen majority whip over Jimmy Higdon of Lebanon.
“It is important for our region in eastern Kentucky to have proper representation in Frankfort,” said Smith. “I am confident Sen. Stivers and I can do just that. We are a vital part of this commonwealth, bringing to the table signature industries, such as coal and natural resources as well as our distinct mountain landscape. I continue to keep all my districts — Bell, Harlan, Leslie and Perry counties — best interest at heart in moving forward to better Kentucky for our children and families.”
Stivers will officially take his new position beginning in January.
He will join House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, House Floor Leader Rocky Adkins, D-Sandy Hook, and Smith, R-Hazard, making eastern Kentucky well represented in the legislature’s leadership.
(The Associated Press contributed to this article.)
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