A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Governor-elect Andy Beshear names high-level members of incoming administration

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

Governor-elect Andy Beshear on Wednesday named four high-level members of his incoming administration, all of whom are coming with him from the attorney general’s office.

Beshear said none of those named should surprise anyone.

“Time and time again, the four individuals have proven their ability, dedication, and work ethic. In fact, each of the four individuals has had a four-year audition for their next job.”

Gov.-elect Andy Beshear with the first four members of his administration. From left: J. Michael Brown, Lt. Gov-elect Jacqueline Coleman, Beshear, LaTasha Buckner, Travis Mayo and Crystal Staley. (Photo by Tom Latek, Kentucky Today)

J. Michael Brown, who is currently deputy attorney general and chairman of the Transition Team, will serve as secretary of the executive cabinet, where he will lead all the cabinet secretaries in carrying out the work of the Executive Branch of government.

Brown termed it the highlight of his professional career, which includes eight years as Justice and Public Safety Secretary and a former Jefferson District Court judge.

“I went from being a soldier to a lawyer, and then I got the opportunity to come up to Frankfort and serve the people,” Brown said. “I’m going to do the best I can to serve government’s only client, which are the people.”

La Tasha Buckner, an assistant deputy attorney general who is co-chair of the transition team, was named general counsel for the Office of the Governor.

“I’m excited that Kentucky is going to see the same kind of leadership that I’ve seen in the last four years,” Buckner said. “A leader who is genuine in wanting to help all Kentuckians, who is going to listen to your concerns and be responsive.”

Travis Mayo, who currently heads the attorney general’s Office of Civil and Environmental Law, has been appointed deputy general counsel.

“It has been a great four years of incredible teamwork,” Mayo said, “The incredible people and just incredible work that has come out of the Office of the Attorney General. I’ve never been more proud of a team than the team I’ve worked with the last four years and I’m so excited I get to work with folks as part of Team Kentucky.”

Crystal Staley, who has been Beshear’s communications dDirector in the AG’s office, will continue that role in the Governor’s office.

“I committed to public service, because I wanted to help my fellow Kentuckians,” Staley said, “And now I’m going to try and do that in a way that is honest and open, so that we can really bridge the gap for Kentuckians to help them connect with their state government.”

After introducing them, Beshear told reporters, “I’m excited about these first four appointments that are going to help us in this administration.”

“Understand that it is going to take us time to put together the whole team. We’ll have an additional announcement on Tuesday, and then any later announcements will come after Thanksgiving.”

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