Speculation mounts on Hoover's hint of a "historic" Monday in the state House

01/08/2016 09:54 PM

FRANKFORT — Speculation on House Minority Floor Leader Jeff Hoover’s remarks that Monday could be an historic day in the House of Representatives was rampant at the Capitol on Friday.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo, who found himself a repeated punchline in absentia at Thursday’s Kentucky Chamber of Commerce dinner, left presiding duties to House Speaker Pro Tem Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green, while traveling to Florida for work through his law firm, Morgan & Morgan.

House GOP members remained mum on exactly what Hoover meant in his remarks.

House Majority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins reiterated that the Democratic majority remains united moving into the session and four special elections, saying he has heard of no Democrats who may caucus with Republicans and tilt control of the chamber in their favor. Democrats currently hold a 50-46 majority, with four open seats to be decided in special elections March 8.

“We’re a very close-knit, I think, caucus, and I think that, as I said, I think we’re committed,” said Adkins, D-Morehead. “I think we’re entrenched, so I have no indication that of any member that is willing to meet with any other caucus except for our Democratic House caucus.”

Such a move would be unprecedented in the Democrat-led House, but a similar situation helped shift control of the Senate into Republican hands in a 1997 coup.

Five Democrats joined with Republicans to oust then-Senate President John “Eck” Rose in favor of former Democratic Sen. Larry Saunders after altering the chamber’s rules.

Saunders held the post until 2000, begrudgingly stepping down in favor of former Senate President David Williams after Senate Majority Caucus Chair Dan Seum and former Sen. Bob Leeper left the Democratic Party for the GOP in 1999.

“That is the closest in my memory that there would be something like that to have occurred,” said Senate President Robert Stivers, noting he was “totally unaware and unfamiliar” with any plans by Hoover.

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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