Rocky Adkins was appointed Monday to Gov.-elect Andy Beshear’s Cabinet.
Adkins will be the Senior Advisor to the new Kentucky governor and will serve at the governor’s office.
“I’m looking forward to the challenge and to the opportunity,” said Adkins, “not only to serving all of Kentucky, but it gives eastern Kentucky and our region a seat at the table, which is important to me.”
Adkins is a graduate of Morehead State University, where he also received his master’s degree in secondary education.
Adkins, of Sandy Hook, is currently the Democratic leader of the Kentucky House of Representatives, representing the 99th District, which includes Elliott, Lewis and Rowan counties, since 1987. Adkins has served on a number of influential committees, including the House Appropriations and Revenue Committee and the Budget Review Subcommittee on Transportation where he served as chair.
Adkins said he was honored to have the opportunity to serve as the governor’s Senior Advisor and help him implement his agenda on health care and policy changes, as well as upholding their promise to teacher’s pensions.
“I’m honored, I look forward to this new challenge as we work to build a better Kentucky,” said Adkins.
“I am pleased to have Rocky working right alongside me in the Office of the Governor. He will be a key leader in my administration,” Beshear said. “We share a passion for Kentucky. We are committed to building a Commonwealth focused on the common good — one that works for everyone.”
“After 33 years of service in the Kentucky House of Representatives and seeing it from every angle as a budget chair, majority and minority leader and a candidate for governor, I am humbled and honored to be asked to be a part of the Beshear administration,” said Adkins. “Being appointed to this senior level position is a great opportunity to help build a better Kentucky and move the state forward. Through proven leadership with proven results we can truly serve the people of Kentucky.”
Adkins was one of five appointments made by Beshear on Monday.
“Each of these leaders have proven their commitment to Kentucky. They are professionals in their fields and know how to bring people together,” Beshear said. “I am honored to have them join together on Team Kentucky.”
Beshear announced Lt. Gov.-elect Jacqueline Coleman will hold a dual role in the administration, also serving as the Education and Workforce Development Cabinet secretary.
“Since Day 1, Jacqueline has been a full partner and not only will she fulfill her duties as lieutenant governor, she will be one of few lieutenant governors to also serve as a cabinet secretary,” Beshear said. “As we shape the future of our state and public education, we are underscoring the importance of having an active educator at the head of the table.”
“The future of Kentucky’s economy is in our classrooms and we are going to make sure public education gets the respect and support it deserves,” said Coleman. “As secretary, I am committed to uplifting public education and every student by working with the education community and listening to their concerns and suggestions.”
Former Lexington Mayor Jim Gray will serve as secretary of the Transportation Cabinet.
“As we look to bring folks together to move our state forward, we need leaders like Jim Gray,” Beshear said. “He knows how to work with others in an honest and respectful way to best serve every Kentucky family. His transportation and government leadership skills are a real asset to our administration and to the Transportation Cabinet.”
“Gov.-elect Beshear and I know and agree that transportation, good roads and highways are keys to economic growth and prosperity. Serving our state in this role is an honor and an incredible opportunity,” said Gray. “Leading with integrity and transparency are the first orders of business. We’ll also be encouraging and recognizing the good work of the department’s team members, and we will all strive to follow the Golden Rule. That’s the way Andy Beshear will lead our state, and that’s why I’m excited and thankful to be part of his team.”
Col. Haldane B. Lamberton will lead the Kentucky National Guard as adjutant general.
“I have the utmost confidence in Col. Lamberton,” Beshear said. “He has honorably served our country and Commonwealth on many fronts and will lead our Department of Military Affairs with the values ever-present in members of the Kentucky National Guard.”
“In the military everything we do involves people, leadership and teamwork. The teamwork brings people from different backgrounds together for a singular purpose — a good leader directs that purpose by virtue of their personal example, work ethic and respect for others which they display,” said Lamberton. “I believe the Beshear administration will exemplify those same positive qualities of leadership in bringing together the people of the Commonwealth as he moves the state forward.”
The Commissioner for Veterans Affairs will be retired Lt. Col. Keith Jackson.
“Retired Lt. Col. Jackson has served his country and led Lexington’s bravest,” Beshear said. “I’m proud to announce he will lead the commission that serves the brave veterans of Kentucky. I know he will ensure our veterans and their families receive the care they have earned.”
“As a combat veteran in the United States Army, I understand the processes and challenges that we go through as service members,” said Jackson. “I hope to bring new energy, ideas and enthusiasm to help make sure our veterans get the benefits and assistance they need.”
Beshear said the public service knowledge these leaders share will aid his administration in addressing the key issues that Kentucky families care about like supporting education, creating good jobs, protecting retirements and accessing affordable health care.
When Beshear and Coleman are sworn in Dec. 10, Col. Haldane B. Lamberton will also be sworn in as adjutant general. Col. Lamberton will be responsible to the governor for the Kentucky National Guard.
To apply for an unclassified position in the Beshear/Coleman administration visit, besheartransitionky.com.
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