A southern Kentucky legislator says one of the biggest questions heading into the next legislative session is how lawmakers will react to the absence of David Williams. The longtime Republican Senate President resigned his seat in the legislature late last year to become a Kentucky circuit judge.
Robert Stivers of Manchester is expected to become the next Senate leader when the 2013 General Assembly begins January 8. Democratic Rep. Wilson Stone of Allen County told WKU Public Radio he'll be interested to see what--if anything--changes when Stivers leads the Senate through his legislative agenda.
"People would say that President Williams really had good discipline within his caucus. And so that allowed him to be really powerful not only in the Senate, but really in Frankfort in general," said Stone, a Democrat from Scottsville. "Now, whether Robert Stivers now will have that same discipline, and move in the same direction, I don't know. It's hard to say."
With the 2013 Kentucky legislative session not far away, a lot of focus has been placed on the man considered to have the best chance of becoming the next Senate President. Republican Robert Stivers is expected to take over leadership of the chamber from David Williams, the Cumberland County Republican who resigned to become a circuit court judge in southern Kentucky.
A GOP lawmaker from our region told WKU Public Radio he doesn't believe there will be a great deal of policy change under the new Senate leader.
Rep. Michael Meredith of Edmonson County says the biggest difference could be in personality.
"David has been one of the most intelligent people to serve in the city of Frankfort for many, many years. He was very well-versed on policy, very well-versed on issues, but could be a very divisive character as well. And I can see some changes in that. Robert could very well not be as divisive as David was," said Meredith.
Republican state Rep. Sara Beth Gregory has won a special election for a Senate seat from southern Kentucky, defeating Williamsburg teacher and Democrat Bill Conn by more than a 4-1 margin to replace former Sen. David Williams.
In unofficial returns from Tuesday's balloting, Gregory received 6,244 votes to 1,440 for Conn, who was making his first run for public office.
The heavily Republican 16th District includes Clinton, Cumberland, McCreary, Monroe, Wayne and Whitley counties, along the southern Kentucky border. Gregory, an attorney, was elected last year to represent the 52nd House District that covers McCreary and Wayne counties and part of Pulaski County and won a second term on Nov. 6.
Democrats and Republicans have nominated candidates to run for an open Senate seat in southern Kentucky. The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that officials from each political party had separate meetings on Thursday and approved the nominations of Republican state Rep. Sara Beth Gregory of Monticello and Democrat Bill Conn, a teacher in Williamsburg who is making his first run for public office.