Gov.-elect Bevin taps Mac Brown to head transition team

11/05/2015 05:26 PM

J. McCauley “Mac” Brown, vice president of Brown-Forman and a prominent political fundraiser, has been named chairman of GOP Gov.-elect Matt Bevin’s 21-person transition steering committee.

Bevin announced the move in a news release on Thursday.

“Mac is highly respected for his business acumen and strategic planning experience with one of Kentucky’s most successful companies,” Bevin said in a statement. “It is an honor to have him leading this transition.”

Since 1998, Forman has contributed $110,426 to various candidates for Kentucky offices and another $243,152 to federal candidates, parties and outside groups since 1997, according to Kentucky Registry of Election Finance and Federal Election Commission records. For the most part, Republicans have been the beneficiaries of Brown’s contributions.

“Matt is assembling an administration staffed by the best and brightest to usher in a fresh start for Kentucky,” Brown said in a statement.

“Our priority is to manage the transition in a deliberate, inclusive, and efficient manner. We have been preparing for this historic opportunity for several weeks and will continue to identify the right people for the right positions throughout the transition.”

Familiar faces and a few relative newcomers make up the rest of Bevin’s transition team. The news release noted that no member of the committee is a candidate for positions in their respective areas.

Here’s a look at the rest of the panel:

Lt. Gov.-elect Jenean Hampton

Transition Director Kristen Webb-Hill — chairwoman of the Republican political nonprofit Kentucky Opportunity Coalition and former chief of staff in the Finance and Administration Cabinet under former Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher

Governor’s office, Vivek Sarin — chief executive officer of Shelbyville-based Shelby Industries

Steering Committee Director Jerry Miller — Republican state representative of Louisville and commissioner of state parks under Fletcher

Budget and Operations Director John Hodgson — president of the Louisville Tea Party and division manager for UPS

General Counsel John Roach — Lexington-based attorney, former Kentucky Supreme Court justice and general counsel for Fletcher

Economic development, Rep. Thomas Kerr, R-Taylor Mill

Education and workforce development, Billy Harper — Paducah businessman and 2007 Republican gubernatorial candidate

Energy and environment, Kathy Walker — president of Elm Street Resources and executive committee member of the National Coal Council

Health and family services, Bonita Black — Louisville-based general corporate law attorney

Justice and public safety, Mark Sommer — Louisville-based tax and incentives attorney

Personnel, Garth Kuhnhein — former president of the Northern Kentucky Tea Party and president of Edgewood-based GK and Associates

Public protection and labor, Julie Denton — Louisville Metro Council member and former state senator

Tourism, arts and heritage, Brett Gaspard — chairman of the Boone County Republican Party and public sector manager at Rumpke Waste and Recycling

Transportation, Hal Heiner — former gubernatorial candidate in the May 19 GOP primary and former Louisville Metro Council member

Department of Military Affairs, Maj. Gen. Donald Storm — former Kentucky National Guard adjutant general under Fletcher

Kentucky Retirement Systems, John Farris — former Finance and Administration Cabinet secretary under Fletcher and president of Commonwealth Economics

Finance and administration, Frank Farris — audit partner at Mountjoy Chilton Medley

Transition Personnel Director Tom Stephens — Lexington attorney, member of the KREF board and former Personnel Cabinet general counsel under Fletcher

Communications Director Jessica Ditto — Bevin campaign spokeswoman and former spokeswoman for Fletcher and the Republican Party of Kentucky

Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a reporter for Pure Politics. He joined cn|2 in September 2014 after five years at The State Journal in Frankfort, where he covered Kentucky government and politics. You can reach him at kevin.wheatley@charter.com or 502-792-1135 and follow him on Twitter at @KWheatley_cn2.

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