KY Legislature's Lone Independent Takes on New Role

Frankfort, KY – Kentucky State Senator Bob Leeper is moving to a more powerful role in the Kentucky General Assembly with his appointment as budget chairman in the state Senate. The move comes just four years after the legislator from Paducah became the General Assembly's only independent.

Leeper was the beneficiary last week when state Senator Charlie Borders left the Senate for a position as chairman of the Public Service Commission. Kentucky Republicans led the Senate with 21 of 38 seats before Borders' resignation.

It was Leeper who nearly a decade ago swayed the balance of power in the state Senate over to the Republican Party after he dropped ties to the Democratic Party and joined the GOP. He became an independent in 2005 after a squabble with leadership over disputed election results for a Louisville Senate seat.