Governor Steve Beshear’s steady and pragmatic leadership continues to guide Kentucky through one of the most difficult times in the state’s history. The Commonwealth has been tested over the last three years by multiple natural disasters and the worst economic recession since the Great Depression. Governor Beshear fought to not only help Kentuckians survive the turmoil, but to also position the state for future success.
Beshear has consistently been a strong, fiscally conservative governor, balancing the budget eight times in three years without raising broad based taxes. He also has worked across party lines to solve some of the Commonwealth’s most pressing problems. And he continues to focus on his top priority – creating and retaining jobs for Kentuckians and increasing opportunities for businesses across the state.
Learning his values in a small town through faith and family
Governor Beshear learned his values growing up in Dawson Springs -- a small town in western Kentucky. His father and grandfather, both Baptist ministers, instilled in him a responsibility to God and family. His mother, who found time to give back to her community while raising five children, inspired him to serve his community and state.
At the University of Kentucky, where he received his undergraduate and law degrees, he served as president of the student body. That experience drew him to serve in the U.S. Army reserve as an intelligence analyst and also perform duties in the Judge Advocate General’s office.
While at University of Kentucky he met his wife, Jane, to whom he has been happily married for more than 40 years. They have two sons, Jeff and Andy, and three grandchildren.
Jeff is a veterinarian and small business owner. He, his wife Emily and their son Nicholas live in Virginia. Andy, an attorney, resides in Louisville with his wife Britainy and their two children, Will and Lila.
An honest leader committed to Kentucky
Beshear’s work in both the public and private sectors offer Kentucky a unique leadership style that has improved the lives of his fellow Kentuckians.
As a State Representative, he drafted and sponsored legislation that helped modernize and more than double the neonatal capacity at the University of Kentucky Hospital.
As Attorney General, Beshear saved taxpayer dollars by successfully cracking down on statewide food stamp fraud. He also gave citizens the opportunity to file consumer protection complaints in their respective communities, rather than facing the burden of old policies and bureaucratic delays.
And as Lt. Governor, he worked with Governor Martha Layne Collins to bring Toyota to the Commonwealth, creating thousands of jobs across the state. He also developed and headed the Kentucky Tomorrow Commission to identify the challenges that Kentucky faces and recommended solutions to create a vision for tackling them -- many of the recommendations were later adopted.
Following government service, Beshear returned to the private sector as a respected attorney and senior executive of a multistate law firm. He became a managing partner at Stites & Harbison PLLC in Lexington, helping the office to grow and develop into one of the most successful practices statewide. While at Stites, numerous state and national companies sought Beshear’s counsel. His advice guided many clients into successful ventures.
These professional experiences, as well as his work in community banking, allowed Beshear to gain invaluable insight into the intricate details of business. He has applied his expertise of business and finance as Governor, allowing him to be a responsible steward of tax dollars and aid in the development of new job creation and retention programs. He continues to be a steady hand in these difficult times.
A Governor that Stands up for Kentucky Families
Governor Beshear left a successful private sector career to serve the people of Kentucky once again, this time as governor. He was sworn in as the state’s 61st Chief Executive on December 11, 2007.
Since the day he was sworn in, Kentuckians have entrusted Governor Beshear to do what is right for them and their families. As Governor, he takes that trust seriously, upholding his promise to put Kentucky first and tackling the difficult challenges facing the Commonwealth.
Governor Beshear is proud to serve the Commonwealth of Kentucky. But he knows there is more work to do, and looks forward to continuing his work on behalf of Kentuckians.
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