Stivers says big problems means 'shared sacrifice' between Frankfort Republicans and Democrats

11/27/2012 09:06 PM

Facing the press for the first time as a team, the newly-elected Senate Republican leaders opened the post-David Williams era by calling for “shared sacrifice” to tackle looming problems such as a hemorrhaging public pension fund and continued controversy with the Medicaid program.

“We’ve got big issues out there. We’ve got real problems that’s going to take real people coming up with real solutions,” said Sen. Robert Stivers of Manchester, whom Senate Republicans chose as the nominee for Senate president. “It’s not going to be something that one group can take credit for or take all the blame for. It’s going to have to be kind of a shared sacrifice.”

Stivers received the GOP’s nomination along with Sen. Katie Stine of Southgate, who ran unopposed for another term as Senate president Pro-Tem. Both must be officially elected at the start of the session in January. Stivers will become the fourth Senate president since the creation of the position in 1992 and will succeed Williams, who resigned to become a judge.

As Pure Politics reported earlier, the Senate majority caucus selected Sen. Damon Thayer of Georgetown as majority leader, Sen. Brandon Smith of Hazard as whip and re-elected Sen. Dan Seum of Louisville as Republican caucus chairman.

The Republican caucus leaders didn’t reveal the vote-counts in Tuesday’s elections, which were conducted by secret ballot in the closed-door meeting. However, they confirmed that one race went to a tie-breaker to be decided.

The leadership team next will have to fill five open committee chairmanships, including those being left open by three retiring senators (Judiciary, Education and Veterans and Military Affairs) and two by Thayer and Smith (the State and Local Government Committee and Natural Resources Committee, respectively).

Stivers said those decisions will be made by the leadership team as a group.

When asked how he would be different from Williams, Stivers joked that he’s a bit shorter than his predecessor. Here’s his full answer:

Thayer, meanwhile, said his election to majority leader wasn’t necessarily a sign that expanded gambling had a better shot to pass even though he carried the legislation this year.

Here’s how he answered that:

– Video by Nick Storm, compiled by Ryan Alessi


Subscribe to email updates.

Subscribe and get the latest political intelligence delivered to your inbox.