Stivers says Senate GOP's principles will remain, style will be different; Lays out priorities for 2013

11/13/2012 08:11 PM

As Republican Senate floor leader, Sen. Robert Stivers of Manchester, was the presumed next-in-line for the Senate presidency upon David Williams departure to take a judgeship.

But Stivers faces a challenge from independent Sen. Bob Leeper of Paducah, which gives the internal contest a challenger-versus-incumbent feel to it. And while Leeper is running as the change agent, Stivers is stressing stability.

“It will continue to operate in a smooth and efficient manner … Our principles are the same the day before as the day after David Williams left,” Stivers said (0:10).

Stivers outlined several reasons why he thinks Leeper will be at a disadvantage as an independent. (2:00-3:20)

He also outlined what he expected to be the biggest difference in leadership styles, which includes “more people speaking” publicly for the caucus (0:30), whether he prefers a secret ballot or show-of-hands vote during the caucus leadership elections (1:40) and what the Republican Senate caucus’ priorities will be (4:40).

In the 2013 session, Stivers said he wants to see the legislature deal with ways to shore up the public employee pension system and take steps to stabilize the rough transition into managed care of the Medicaid system. He also answered questions about whether he expects tax reform to be addressed in 2013 (6:10) or expanded gambling (8:15).

Stivers also said if he defeats Leeper in the leadership race, he didn’t expect to replace Leeper as Appropriations and Revenue Committee chairman.

About Ryan Alessi

Ryan Alessi joined cn|2 in May 2010 as senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics. He is now pursuing an advanced degree in non-fiction writing from Murray State University and is a regular contributor to Pure Politics. Ryan has covered politics for more than 14 years, including seven years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Ryan can be reached at or @mycn2 on Twitter.


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