Beshear selects transition chairman, talks early action

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (KT) - Although Gov. Matt Bevin has not yet conceded his loss to Democrat Andy Beshear in the governor’s race Tuesday, the would-be governor-elect has named his transition chairman.

J. Michael Brown was named to the post by Beshear during a Wednesday press conference at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, in which he was joined by running mate Jacqueline Coleman.

“I have the utmost confidence in Michael,” Beshear told reporters. “He has served our country in uniform, and currently serves as deputy attorney general. He previously served as a district judge here in Jefferson County, and as Secretary of the Justice Cabinet. He has a long track record of exemplary public service and I could not ask for a better person to lead this transition.”

“It is really one the great honors of my life to be offered an opportunity to continue serving my country, my state and have the confidence of Governor-Elect Andy Beshear,” Brown said.

Referring to his time in uniform, Brown said, “We’re used to changes of command. Our government, our whole system, is based on changes of authority, and what distinguishes us is that it’s peaceful and it’s smooth.”

Beshear noted that they have to act quickly with his anticipated inauguration on Dec. 10. “Our budget, which will come out in January, will reflect the priorities of public education, health care and rebuilding our infrastructure.”

“Now, it’s time to come together and get to work. There is so much that Jacqueline and I ran on: challenges that are facing our families, from public education to pensions, to health care, to jobs. And to truly make that positive difference for our families, we have got to move, and we have got to move quickly.”

He says he will take steps in week one of his administration to fulfill promises he made during the campaign.

“That includes rescinding the Medicaid waiver and saving healthcare for 95,000 Kentuckians,” Beshear said. “Giving our state a brand-new Board of Education and restoring voting rights for more than 140,000 non-violent felons. That’s what we’re focused on.”

Beshear says he will name further members of the transition team in the coming days.

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