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Schickel: In With the People, Out With the Cynics

The election of our new governor was a victory for the people of Kentucky. There are many cynics about the Kentucky and American political process.

I hear it all the time: Money controls politics. Party bosses pick the candidates. Big-time lobbyists control Frankfort. It’s not what you know but who you know. If you are not in the clique, you’re out. Kentuckians are a backwards, prejudice bunch who repress women and blacks.

While it is easy to fall into this cynical way of thinking, the election of our new governor happily showed that this is not necessarily the case.

Here are the facts: Gov. Matt Bevin’s opponent outspent him. Gov. Bevin’s political career was definitely outside the Republican establishment, taking on some of its most powerful leaders. I don’t know of any lobbyists who backed him in the primaries. And as for being in the in-crowd, I will never forget the night he won the Republican nomination. I was watching the coverage on KET and the announcer literally couldn’t find an elected official to interview that had backed him. This is unheard of. Finally, the inauguration included the swearing in of Kentucky’s first African-American lieutenant governor. We conservatives rejoice in the fact that much to the media’s chagrin Jenean Hampton is a conservative. The press and some others doesn’t know what to make of it.

To be sure our system isn’t perfect. There is, however, only one group of people who can take credit for Gov. Bevin’s election – and that is the people of Kentucky. It shows our representative republic is still healthy.

As the saying goes, he did it his way like I’ve never seen since becoming an astute observer of Kentucky politics in 1977. This is a good thing, and something we should rejoice in. I look forward to working with him during the next four years of his administration.

Written by Senator John Schickel (R-Union)