|Jenean Hampton becomes Kentucky's lieutenant governor. She is the first African American to hold the position. She is a registered Republican.|
Kentucky's soon to be governor Matt Bevin is no longer a perennial gadfly. It was a healthy victory for the insurgent Republican. Did you know that the controversial businessman had a running mate that also won. Her victory marks a first for the state.
Jenean Hampton becomes the lieutenant governor for the state. She is the first African American to hold this position. She was elected as a Republican.
The 58 year old mother and grandmother started from humble beginnings. She grew up in the Detroit area. Her family worked in the manufacturing boom of the automotive juggernaut Chrysler.
She joined the U.S. Air Force, where she spent seven years writing code and managing software like the radar used to find enemy planes in Operation Desert Storm, where she was deployed. She then spent 19 years in the corrugated packing industry.
She boldly says that she's not a fan of Barack Obama and vows to oppose his policies. That often cause a family feud between her and her late father.
It's apparently a mystery to her family, too. Hampton said her father, who recently died, "went to his grave mad at me."
"That I'm conservative, Republican, didn't support Obama — he just could not wrap his arms around that," she told Bailey.
Hampton says her guiding light is constitutionally limited government, and she told Bailey that when trying to climb out of inner-city Detroit, she felt government and friends and family around her were rooting for her to fail:
"A huge part of what formed my opinions was the peer pressure that I got to fail," she said. "These were kids who questioned my good grades, questioned the way I spoke, questioned my choice in music and the fact that I was reading all the time. I just remember wondering, 'Well, jeez, when do I get to just be Jenean with my own likes and dislikes?' "
As she got older, she said she despised Nixon's Republican Party but came around to the GOP when Ronald Reagan was president because he reflected her own optimism about the American Dream, according to Bailey.
Now as the lieutenant governor, Hampton will do her best to make Republicans seem less racist than they normally are.
The race in the Bluegrass state was supposed to be a victory for the Democrats.
The people of Kentucky love KNect, the state's health care exchange. Outgoing governor Steve Beshear was at best a decent governor. The Democrats didn't put much in the races for governor.
But I guess Donald Trump's impact and the state's opposition to gay marriage being a contributing factor to Bevin winning the governor's race.