Kentucky Lawmakers Elect Leaders

The New Year brings some new faces to the leadership of the Kentucky General Assembly.

For the Democrats, House Speaker Pro Tem Larry Clark withstood a challenge from former Speaker Jody Richards. Clark said he appreciates the vote of confidence.

“This is starting my 19th year as speaker pro tem, working for four different speakers, four different administrations. I’m very honored.”

Rep. Tommy Thompson is the new House Majority Whip, unseating Rep. John Will Stacy. Rep. Danny Ford is the new House Minority Whip, defeating Rep. David Floyd.

For Senate Democrats, R-J Palmer is the new Minority Floor Leader. He withstood a challenge from former Gov. Julian Carroll to fill the seat formerly held by Ed Worley, who did not seek re-election to the Senate.

There was no change in Senate Republican leadership.

By Tony McVeigh

Veteran broadcast journalist Tony McVeigh has been covering Kentucky politics since 1986, reporting for Clear Channel Communications before joining Kentucky Public Radio in 2004. His stories are aired by seven KPR affiliates, whose signals blanket the Commonwealth and parts of surrounding states. McVeigh began his broadcasting career at WRFC in Athens, Georgia, while earning a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia. He has extensive anchor/reporter experience, including stints with South Carolina Network and Georgia Radio News Service in Atlanta. In 2007 and 2008, McVeigh was named Best Radio Reporter in the Kentucky Associated Press Awards. He also picked up consecutive AP Awards for Best Political Coverage. McVeigh won four Kentucky AP Awards in 2009, six in 2010 - including Best Political Coverage and Best Hard News Feature - and three in 2011. His coverage of the 2007 Kentucky governor's race topped the Political Reporting category of the Society of Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade Awards of 2008. In 2009, McVeigh placed second in Courts and Law Reporting in the Atlanta-based competition for journalists in 11 Southern states. McVeigh is also the proud recipient of an Individual Liberty Award from the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The Brunswick, Georgia, native is a die-hard UGA football fan who enjoys photography, astronomy, live music, hiking Kentucky's Red River Gorge and exploring the state's beautiful back roads. McVeigh and his big, fat, black cat Simon, reside in Frankfort, KY.