GOP senator-elect Paul Hornback hopes his first session won't be too political

11/10/2010 07:17 PM

Paul Hornback, a farmer from Shelby County, said he plans to bring a shot of “common sense” to the state legislature and said he hopes lawmakers can ignore the overtones of the 2011 statewide elections to get things done in the General Assembly.

“I hope we get up there and realize the state of the economy … and try to do the right thing,” he said. “I want to work with everybody.”

Hornback, a Republican, said for instance that he thought Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear had done “a reasonable job” so far.

Many expect the 2011 General Assembly session to be shaded by the coming elections. In addition to Beshear seeking re-election, several lawmakers have announced that they’re running for statewide office: Senate President David Williams is seeking the GOP nomination for governor, Republican Rep. Mike Harmon is running as the lieutenant governor candidate with Phil Moffett against Williams and Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer. And Republican Rep. Jamie Comer is running for Agriculture Commissioner. Several other lawmakers are mulling runs for attorney general.

Hornback said he has gotten some advice from the man he will replace in the 20th District, Republican Sen. Gary Tapp of Shelbyville, who opted not to seek a third term in the Senate.

Tapp’s advice: “You get frustrated with the amount of time it takes to get something done,” Hornback said.

While Hornback said the state must keep its promise of retirement benefits to current state workers and retirees, he said something must be done for future hires’ pensions.

“Is the system broken? Yes it is,” he said.

Hornback defeated Democrat David Eaton by nearly 20 points last Tuesday in the 20th District, which covers Bullitt, Shelby and Spencer counties.

Hornback is one of five freshmen Senators — four Republicans and one Democrat — who will join the legislature in January.

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