Steve Beshear

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Steve Beshear
Governor of Kentucky
In office
December 11, 2007 - Present
Term ends
Years in position 8
Prior offices
Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky
Attorney General of Kentucky
Kentucky House of Representatives
Bachelor'sUniversity of Kentucky
J.D.University of Kentucky
Military service
Service/branchUnited States Army Reserve
Years of service1969-1975
Date of birthSeptember 21, 1944
Office website
Steven Lynn "Steve" Beshear (b. September 21, 1944) is a member of the Democratic Party, and the 61st and current governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He was first elected in 2007, and is running for re-election in 2011.

Beshear had previously served in the Kentucky House of Representatives as well as the state's Attorney General from 1980 to 1984 and Lieutenant Governor from 1984 to 1988.

Education and early career

Beshear attended the University of Kentucky, where he received a bachelor's degree and a law degree. He was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity and served in the United States Army Reserve (1969-1975).

In 1974, Beshear was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives. He represented the 76th District and served in the House from 1974 to 1979. He was elected Attorney General of Kentucky in 1979, defeating Republican nominee Ron Snyder with 471,177 votes to Snyder's 302,951, and served as Attorney General from 1980 to 1984.

In 1983, Beshear was elected Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky on a Democratic ticket headed by Martha Layne Collins. Beshear defeated Eugene P. Stuart, the running mate of Jim Bunning, 568,869 votes to 321,352.

In 1987, he ran for Governor of Kentucky and lost in a packed Democratic primary field. Beshear won 114,439 votes in the primary, good for a third place finish behind former governor John Y. Brown, Jr.'s 163,204 votes and 221,138 votes garnered by Wallace G. Wilkinson, who went on to win the general election that fall. Beshear placed ahead of former governor Julian Carroll's 42,137 votes and also defeated Grady Stumbo, who won 84,613 votes. Three other candidates combined for an additional 8,187 votes in that primary.

After his defeat in the 1987 election, Beshear practiced law in Lexington, Kentucky. He was the Democratic nominee for the United States Senate in 1996, losing to incumbent Mitch McConnell.



See also: Kentucky gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2011

Beshear announced he would run for re-election on July 20, 2009, adding that his running mate would be Louisville mayor Jerry Abramson; incumbent Lieutenant Governor Daniel Mongiardo opted to run for U.S. Senate in 2010 rather than seek re-election.[1] Beshear's campaign made significant fundraising progress in 2009 and 2010, entering 2011 with over $3 million in the bank. The ticket went unopposed in the May 17 Democratic primary, allowing it to build its war chest for the upcoming struggle against the Republican team of David Williams and Richie Farmer.

By mid-June, a month into the general election season, Beshear's team had raised over three times as much as its opponents. Beshear also enjoyed a 21 point advantage over Williams in a June poll.


On November 8, 2011 Beshear will face David Williams (R) and Gatewood Galbraith (I).

Governor and Lt. Governor of Kentucky, 2011
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngSteve Beshear and Jerry E. Abramson 55.7% 464,245
     Republican David Williams and Richie Farmer 35.3% 294,034
     Independent Gatewood Galbraith and Dea Riley 9% 74,860
Total Votes 833,139

Ethics complaint

On August 2, 2011, Beshear was accused of violating campaign ethics laws during his re-election campaign by Kentucky Republican Party Chairman Steve Robertson. According to Robertson's complaint, one of Beshear's aides illegally pressured state employees to contribute to his campaign. The allegations are based on the testimony of a state whistleblower, psychologist Rodney Young of the Department of Juvenile Justice, as well as a December 2010 CNHI News story that claimed other employees had been strongly encouraged to contribute. Beshear's campaign called the allegations baseless and politically motivated, and the state Democratic Party filed a counter-complaint against his Republican challenger, State Senate President David Williams.


Beshear won the May 2011 Democratic primary by default when the only other candidate to enter the race left the field. After state Senator David Williams won the Republican nomination, the two faced each other in the November general election.


On December 18, 2006, Beshear formally announced his candidacy for governor of Kentucky in the 2007 election with State Senator Daniel Mongiardo as his lieutenant governor. With 99% of precincts reporting as of May 23, 2007, Beshear won the primary; each of his opponents conceded the race to him. Because he exceeded 40 percent of the vote, he avoided a runoff.[2] In the general election, Beshear opposed incumbent Governor Ernie Fletcher . Beshear's platform included expanded gambling, which Fletcher opposed due to the social ills he said come with casinos. On November 6, 2007, Beshear defeated Fletcher by a 59% to 41% margin.[3]


On December 11, 2007, Beshear was sworn in as Kentucky's 61st governor by Kentucky Supreme Court Associate Justice Bill Cunningham in a private ceremony in the Governor's Mansion in Frankfort. Beshear received the oath of office again during a public ceremony on the steps of the Kentucky State Capitol later that afternoon. The oath of office was administered during the public ceremony by Associate Justice Mary C. Noble.

When Beshear took office, he inherited a budget crisis from the previous administration. This crisis has since led to the decision to cut funding in post-secondary education by nearly 15% until the state can increase its revenue stream. As legislators coped with the budget shortfalls, Beshear announced plans on February 15 2008 for his casino gambling bill, which he claimed would generate "several hundred millions of dollars" in tax revenue for the state.[4] The proposal calls for up to 12 casinos (some of which would be at existing horseracing facilities like Churchill Downs) which would generate up to $600 million. To get the casino proposal on the ballot in November 2008, the plan would need 3/5 support in both the state house and senate, which Senate President David Williams gave no chance of happening.[5]

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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