|Nickname||The Bluegrass State|
|Governor||Andy Beshear, D|
|Senator||Mitch McConnell, R |
|Senator||Rand Paul, R |
|Ratification of Constitution/or statehood||June 1, 1792 (15th)|
Kentucky, the Bluegrass State, entered the Union in 1792, making it the fifteenth state. Kentucky's capital is Frankfort, and the largest city is Louisville, with a Metro population surpassing 1,000,000. Kentucky is famous for many things, including the Kentucky Derby, bourbon, Kentucky Fried Chicken, coal, bluegrass music, boxing great Muhammad Ali, the basketball program at the University of Kentucky, and conservative Senator Rand Paul. President Donald Trump won Kentucky by 30 percent in 2016, the largest margin of victory for a Republican presidential candidate there in more than forty years.
The state Constitution of Kentucky, like all of the other 50 states, acknowledges God or our Creator or the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe. It says:
- We, the people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberties we enjoy, and invoking the continuance of these blessings, do ordain and establish this Constitution.
In colonial times, the area was essentially wilderness. An unnamed encampment there, upon hearing of the Battle of Lexington and Concord in the Massachusetts Bay colony, which started the American revolution, chose the name Lexington. It is now the second largest city in Kentucky.
Kentucky was founded as a county of the state of Virginia in 1776. Kentucky County was divided into three counties in 1780, and the three became a state in their own right in 1792. Kentucky was the fifteenth state to enter the Union, after Vermont the previous year. During the Civil War, Kentucky's government remained loyal to the Union, though a Confederate government based itself in Bowling Green, in the south of the state. The state was invaded in September 1861, and its capital, Frankfort, was captured by Confederate forces in 1862, the only Union capital to fall into Confederate hands during the war. The first major explorer into the state is Daniel Boone.
The southwestern portion of the state consistently has been solidly Republican since the late 1800s. One well-known politician from the region is Eugene Siler, a staunch conservative and non-interventionist who served as the U.S. representative from the 8th congressional district during the mid-1900s and has been viewed as a forerunner to current Sen. Rand Paul as well as Rep. Thomas Massie.
Kentucky is best known for its men's college basketball teams, most notably the University of Kentucky Wildcats and University of Louisville Cardinals. The University of Kentucky (UK) traditionally has been the dominant of the two, having won seven NCAA titles. According to Sagarin ratings, the 1996 UK team is the highest-ranked college basketball team in NCAA history. Many UK basketball players have gone on to play in the NBA. The UK basketball team has recently lost its dominance, and the in-state rivalry between the two universities has become less one-sided.
Football has become increasingly associated with Kentucky as well, due to the University of Louisville's team's growth under the coaching of Bobby Petrino. In 2007, the Cardinals competed in and won at the Orange Bowl. During the 2007 football season, the University of Kentucky has been extremely successful compared to the past, having beaten several ranked teams, including Louisville and #1 (at the time) LSU.
Kentucky is generally considered a conservative state. Republicans Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul are their U.S. Senators. Senator McConnell is Minority Leader of the Senate. McConnell's wife, Elaine Chao, was the Secretary of Transportation under President Trump and formerly was United States Secretary of Labor under President George W. Bush. A former governor of the state is Tea Party Republican Matt Bevin, only the third Republican governor since World War II to be elected along with Louie B. Nunn in 1967 and Ernie Fletcher in 2003.
Kentucky has six representatives in the U.S. House of Representatives, and these seats are held by Republicans James Comer, Brett Guthrie, Thomas Massie, Andy Barr, and Hal Rogers, and the Democrat John Yarmuth of Louisville.
The Kentucky State Senate has 27 Republicans, and 11 Democrats. In the 2016 elections, the Republicans made massive gains in the State House, gaining a supermajority and holding the chamber for the first time since 1921. The Kentucky State House was the last state legislature in the South to not have a Republican majority, and GOP trifecta in the state will allow conservative legislation to be passed.
- Sen. Mitch McConnell (R)
- Sen. Rand Paul (R)
- Rep. James Comer [R, KY–01]
- Rep. Brett Guthrie [R, KY–02]
- Rep. John Yarmuth [D, KY–03] (retiring 2023)
- Rep. Thomas Massie [R, KY–04]
- Rep. Hal Rogers [R, KY–05]
- Rep. Andy Barr [R, KY–06]
- Governor Andy Beshear (D)
- Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman (D)
- Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R)
- Secretary of State Michael Adams (R)
- Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles (R)
- State Treasurer Allison Ball (R)
- State Auditor Mike Harmon (R)
- A. B. "Happy" Chandler, U.S. Senator, governor, baseball commissioner
- Chris Clarke, missionary to the equestrian community
- Earle Clements, governor, U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative
- Marlow Cook, U.S. Senator from 1968 to 1974
- William O. Cowger, mayor of Louisville, 1961 to 1965; U.S. Representative, 1967-1971
- Larry Hopkins, former U.S. Representative for the 6th district
- Walter Huddleston, U.S. Senator from 1973 to 1985
- Thruston B. Morton, U.S. Senator from 1957 to 1968
- Edwin Morrow, Governor, 1927-1931
- Louie B. Nunn, governor from 1967 to 1971
- John Robsion, Jr., U.S. Representative from 1953 to 1959
- John Robsion, Sr., U.S. Representative from 1919 to 1930 and 1935 to 1948
- Tim Lee Carter, U.S. representative from 1965 to 1981
- Flem Sampson, governor from 1927 to 1931
- Kenneth Schmied, the last Republican to have served as mayor of Louisville, 1965 to 1969
- Simeon Willis, governor, 1943–1947
Kentucky borders several other states: to the north Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, to the south Tennessee, to the east Virginia and West Virginia, and to the west Missouri. The Ohio River makes up the northern border of Kentucky. It also has the largest cave system in the United states Called mammoth cave.
Most of Kentucky is rural. Even though almost all of Kentucky is hilly, it's the southeastern part that contains the Appalachian Mountains.
- Before Rand Paul, There Was Eugene Siler. fascinatingpolitics.com. Retrieved May 28, 2021.
- Loftus, Tom (November 9, 2016). GOP takes Ky House in historic shift. Courier-Journal. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
- Brammer, Jack & Blackford, Linda (November 8, 2016). Republicans take the Kentucky House after 95 years of Democratic control. Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved November 9, 2016.