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A personal appraisal of modern KY governors

Ranking of Kentucky Governors

During my career with Kentucky state government, I served as a non-merit employee for four Governors and two Presidents.

Below is my personal assessment and professional ranking of the overall impact to moving the state of Kentucky forward.

Governor Term of Office Ranking of Service

Louie Nunn (R ) Dec. 1967-Dec. 1971 Very good...framed federalism for regional and local Kentucky

Wendell H. Ford (D ) Dec. 1971--Dec. 1974 Very good...modernized 260 public boards and commissions down to 7 cabinets

Julian M. Carroll (D ) Dec. 1974---Dec. 1979 Very good...made Kentucky a national leader for federal/ state program coordination

John Y. Brown (D ) Dec. 1979---Dec. 1983 Horrible! He was one of the worst governors in Kentucky history.

He had no professional management team.


Martha L. Collins (D ) Dec. 1983---Dec. 1987 Very good. Made Kentucky a major player in international automobile production

Wallace G. Wilkinson (D ) Dec. 1987---Dec. 1991 Poor to awful...Ran state affairs if they were a private for profit company.

Little understanding of what his job consisted of.


Brereton C. Jones (D ) Dec. 1991---Dec. 1995 Disastrous!!!

Another businessman who wanted to run government as a for profit business.

He stripped economic development functions out of Governor's Office and transferred them into private Economic Development Partnership Board.

Paul Patton (D) Dec. 1995---Dec. 2003 Fair to good.

High marks for his first term with education reform.

Lost his second term legacy to personal sex scandal.

Ernie Fletcher (R ) Dec. 2003---Dec. 2007 Very Poor!!!

From day one, administration was a ball lost in high weeds.

Rocked by various worker scandals in merit world.

Steve Beshear (D ) Dec. 2007---Dec. 2015 Very Good.

High marks for not having scandals.

National leader in health care.

Took care of local infrastructure needs.


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