Secretary Larry Hayes to retire from Economic Development Cabinet, Beshear to conduct national search

05/21/2015 03:34 PM

A member of Gov. Steve Beshear’s senior staff announced he was retiring after seven years in his role as Economic Development Cabinet secretary.

Larry Hayes has seen Kentucky’s ups and downs in his time as a cabinet head for Beshear, but as Kentucky searches for term-limited Beshear’s replacement, now Hayes has signaled the time to move on.

“The opportunity to lead this Cabinet under the Governor’s and Partnership Board’s direction has been the highlight of my career in both business and government,” Hayes said in a statement. “I have been privileged to work with an outstanding staff, and I intend to work diligently to carry out the mission of this Cabinet until a successor is in place.”

In a news release, Beshear announced he will conduct a nationwide search to fill the role of secretary for the Kentucky Economic Development Cabinet.

“Larry Hayes has been an invaluable member of my executive cabinet, leading the state’s economic development efforts out of the depths of a severe recession to record high investment, exports and activity,” Beshear said in a statement. “It is important that the state not lose any momentum. I have asked the Partnership Board to begin the search process immediately so that we can ensure a seamless transition.”

Beshear heads up the Kentucky Economic Development Partnership Board, the board’s executive committee will name a search committee to write a formal request for proposals, which will enable the board to hire a national search firm to find Hayes’ replacement, the governor’s office indicated in a press release.

Once a search firm is hired that body will be “responsible for conducting an extensive search to identify a pool of highly qualified candidates,” according to a press release. The bipartisan partnership board will select at least three finalists to present to Beshear.

The governor’s office said “no firm departure date has been set for Secretary Hayes to step down.” When Hayes exits his role as cabinet head will based upon a “successful transition period.”

Kentucky’s economy has improved in recent years, but already the focus of the 2015 governor’s race will be to increase jobs.

Republican candidates in the primary have attacked Beshear’s record, and in a Frankfort press conference on Election Night, state Democratic constitutional officeholders and candidates rallied under a job centric banner.

Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics available exclusively on Spectrum News. Pure Politics is the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like his coverage of the backlog of DNA rape kits waiting to be tested in Kentucky. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Pure Politics airs weeknight at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Nick on Twitter @NStorm_Politics. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or


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