A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Kentucky’s five House GOP leadership positions to see five new faces in 2019 after Thursday elections

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

All five House Republican leadership positions will have new faces for the next two years following elections Thursday.

Members went behind closed doors for about two hours before reporters were allowed in to speak with the new leadership team.

Rep. David Osborne, who as Speaker Pro Tem presided over the House during the 2018 session after Rep. Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown resigned, was nominated as Speaker in his own right.

Rep. David Meade, R-Stanford, who had been Majority Caucus Chair, was nominated for Speaker Pro Tem, taking Osborne’s former post.

Rep. John “Bam” Carney, R-Campbellsville, who has been serving as Chairman of the Education Committee, was elected majority floor leader, replacing Johnathan Shell, who lost his re-election bid in the May Primary.

Rep. Chad McCoy, R-Bardstown, was elected majority whip, replacing Rep. Kevin Bratcher, R-Louisville, who decided to give up his leadership post.

Rep. Suzanne Miles, R-Owensboro, was voted in as majority caucus chair, replacing Meade.

The House GOP leadership team for the next two years is from left: Reps. Chad McCoy, Majority Whip; John “Bam” Carney, Majority Floor Leader; David Osborne, Speaker of the House; David Meade, Speaker Pro Tem; and Suzanne Miles, Majority Caucus Chair. (Photo by Tom Latek, Kentucky Today)

Osborne said he was excited about leading the House over the next two years.

“We’ve done a lot of good things over the last two years and the people of Kentucky affirmed our actions. They’ve acknowledged that we’ve moved Kentucky forward,” he said. “We’ve created more jobs in the last two years than any two-year period in the history of the commonwealth of Kentucky and have the lowest employment in the last four decades.”

Miles, who is the first woman elected to a House GOP leadership position, was asked her thoughts.

“We don’t serve as male or female any color of skin, things like that. We serve as our job description and what people sent us here to do. There is no difference between all the people that you have sitting in front of you. All of us want to serve.”

Carney praised his colleagues for his selection.

“It was a family atmosphere here today and we talked about that, that we are family, we are a team,” he said. “I think that’s what you’re going to see moving forward in this session.”

Osborne says the legislative agenda will be something the GOP Caucus will be talking about over the next few weeks. “We will have our Caucus retreat next week to talk about policy issues and we will make that decision as we near the session.”

Osborne and Meade will have to be elected by the full House when the Organizational Session begins Jan. 8, but since Republicans hold a supermajority in the House, as well as in the Senate, they are virtually assured of victory.

House Democrats issued the following statement:

“The House Democratic Caucus looks forward to working with the newly elected House Republican leaders during the next two years as we tackle the issues facing Kentucky. While we may disagree on policy decisions from time to time, we are committed, as always, to coming together in a bipartisan way on those solutions that move the commonwealth forward.”

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