Constitutional officers take oath of office in Capitol Rotunda ceremony

01/04/2016 11:33 PM

FRANKFORT — Kentucky’s five constitutional officers were sworn into office on Monday — one day before the start of the legislative session.

Officials remarked on the tasks ahead, thanked family and supporters and promised Kentuckians their best effort over the next four years.

Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is the lone returning constitutional officer, and she jokingly offered advice to her colleagues on the political hot and cold of the building based on tensions between the House and Senate.

Grimes turned up her own heat when calling for reforms to voting rights — including restoration of rights to non-violent felons either via executive order or through legislation in the upcoming session. Bevin reversed an executive order from former Gov. Steve Beshear granting non-violent felons to have their rights to vote and hold office restored upon completing their sentences.

The other Democrat joining Grimes in the state Capitol building is Attorney General Andy Beshear, the son of former Gov. Steve Beshear.

Beshear said his focus remains on the campaign promises he made to protect seniors, safeguard kids from neglect and abuse, finding “workable solutions” to drug addiction and ensuring victims of sexual assault find justice in Kentucky’s courts.

Republican Auditor Mike Harmon had the upset of Election night taking down former Auditor Adam Edelen despite being heavily outspent and largely unknown to voters.

On Monday, Harmon remarked on the “exciting year” with a speech thanking his supporters, and criticizing some in the media who have called for Harmon to continue the work of Edelen.

“I’m hoping they’re talking about his term and not his election results,” Harmon said before remarking on the challenges ahead in the office.

Treasurer Allison Ball offered her thoughts on the new beginning for constitutional officers which coincides with a new year. Ball said she is excited about keeping a watchful eye on Kentucky’s finances, but overall she wanted to thank voters.

“You are appreciated,” she said.

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles retains his for the GOP, the lone GOP office held four years ago, but he turned to the history books for his address remarking on the place of agriculture in the United States and Kentucky — quoting both Thomas Jefferson and noted Kentucky author Wendell Berry.

Gov. Bevin said he looks forward to working with all of the elected officials over the next four years.

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