Gov.-Elect Andy Beshear has made appointments to five key positions in his administration ahead of his Dec. 10 inauguration.
Beshear on Monday appointed state Rep. Rocky Adkins as his senior adviser while naming former Lexington Mayor Jim Gray as secretary of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
Adkins, an Eastern Kentucky Democrat, squared off against Beshear in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. But after voters picked Beshear in May, Adkins traversed the state in support of him as well.
Adkins has represented the 99th district, which includes Elliott, Lewis and Rowan counties, in the Kentucky House of Representatives for more than three decades.
“I am pleased to have Rocky working right alongside me in the office of the governor. He will be a key leader in my administration,” Beshear said in a news release. “We share a passion for Kentucky. We are committed to building a Commonwealth focused on the common good – one that works for everyone.”
Gray, the former Lexington Mayor, also served as the CEO of the family-owned Gray Construction, and he ran for U.S. Senate against Republican Rand Paul in 2016. Beshear cited Gray’s work as mayor, including a reduction in the city’s annual employee health insurance costs and reforms to the city’s police and fire pension system
Beshear said Gray knows how to work with others in an honest and respectful manner to get things done.
“Leading with integrity and transparency are the first orders of business,” Gray said in the release. “We’ll also be encouraging and recognizing the good work of the department’s team members, and we will all strive to follow the Golden Rule. That’s the way Andy Beshear will lead our state, and that’s why I’m excited and thankful to be part of his team.”
Beshear also announced Monday that Lt. Gov. Elect Jacqueline Coleman will serve in a dual role as Education and Workforce Development Cabinet Secretary. Coleman is a former educator, and Beshear called her a “tireless advocate for public education.”
“Since day one, Jacqueline has been a full partner and not only will she fulfill her duties as lieutenant governor, she will be one of few lieutenant governors to also serve as a cabinet secretary,” Beshear said. “As we shape the future of our state and public education, we are underscoring the importance of having an active educator at the head of the table.”
Other appointments made Monday include Col. Haldane B. Lamberton, who will lead the Kentucky National Guard as adjutant general, and retired Lt. Col. Keith Jackson, who will serve as the Commissioner for Veterans Affairs.
The appointments come after Beshear named a large transition team that included several notable Louisville leaders.