Gen X invades Kentucky government with four statewide elected officials

11/11/2011 03:42 PM

Tuesday marked a changing of the guard of sorts in Frankfort. For the first time, four of the seven statewide constitutional officers will be card-carrying members of Generation X.

Sure, Gov. Steve Beshear returns to the top job with fellow 60-something, new Lt. Gov. Jerry Abramson. But beyond the top of the ticket came an influx of youngsters.

Attorney General Jack Conway, a 42-year-old Democrat, won a second term.

Republican James Comer, 39, won the agriculture commissioner race.

Adam Edelen, who turns 37 later this month, won the state auditor’s race as a Democrat.

And Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, who will turn 33 later this month, will be the next secretary of state.

On Tuesday, these members of the MTV generation were quick to point out the fresh perspectives they’ll bring to state government:

Auditor-elect Adam Edelen said the arrival of the four Gen Xers should put to rest the grumblings about the “slacker generation” — especially after hard-fought races in which the three newly-elected officials (Edelen, Grimes and Comer) out-campaigned older opponents.

“We’ve proven them wrong and we’ve come to Frankfort to help change it,” Edelen said.

The perspectives they bring include a mix of “skepticism of institutions” and optimism for changing the status quo, Edelen said.

“We tend to be more skeptical of ideology, we tend to be skeptical of the way things have always been done. I think what you ought to look for from all four of us, maybe in uniquely different ways in our area, is less interest in partisanship, more interested in results,” he said.

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