Hoover Says New GOP Majority Won’t Sideline House Democrats

Nov 17, 2016

Credit J. Tyler Franklin/WFPL News

House Speaker-elect Jeff Hoover has recruited four Democrats and four Republicans to serve on his transition team as political control of the House changes for the first time in 95 years.

The team will help Hoover tweak the procedural rules of the House, which Hoover said marginalized the minority party when Democrats controlled the chamber.

“Just because you’re in the minority doesn’t mean you don’t have good ideas or can’t contribute,” said Hoover. “I believe very strongly that you can have good ideas and you can contribute. And it’ll be my goal at every opportunity to be inclusive and to allow the process to work and that’s something I look forward to doing.”

Democrats controlled the House starting in 1922, but their majority dwindled in the chamber as the state turned increasingly Republican.

This year, Republicans won 17 more state House races than they had ever before, giving them a 64-36 majority in the chamber. The party now has control of the House, Senate and governor’s mansion — the three bodies involved in the lawmaking process.

Hoover said one of his biggest frustrations under the House’s previous leadership was that some committees were stacked with Democrats and didn’t have enough Republicans.

“I’m really going to make a concerted effort to make sure there is proportional representation on every committee,” Hoover said.

The transition team will also look at creating new committees or eliminating old ones, he said.

Last week, the incoming Republican majority unanimously voted to nominate Hoover to be House speaker when the full chamber votes on the matter on Jan. 3.

Hoover is a Republican from Jamestown and has served in the House since 1997. His father was elected to be a representative in 1986 but died before being sworn in. Hoover’s mother then won the special election to serve in the office.

All eight members of the transition team are former members of the House:

  • Former Republican Rep. Danny Ford of Mt. Vernon, chair
  • Former Democratic House Speaker Bob Richardson of Glasgow, chair
  • Democratic state Sen. Julian Carroll of Frankfort, who also served as governor and House speaker
  • Former Democratic Rep. Bill Lear of Lexington
  • Former Democratic Rep. Jim LeMaster of Paris
  • Republican state Sen. Julie Raque Adams of Louisville, who previously served in the House
  • Former Republican state Rep. John Vincent of Ashland
  • Former Republican state Rep. Alecia Webb-Edgington of Ft. Wright