Voices from the Inauguration Skip to content

Voices from the Inauguration

As we were waiting for the parade to start, I made my way up Capitol Avenue and interviewed some people along the way. Here’s what people had to say about why they were there, and what they thought of our governor.

As we were waiting for the parade to start, I made my way up Capitol Avenue and interviewed some people along the way. Here’s what people had to say about why they were there, and what they thought of our governor.

Why are you here? Well, my son is in the Muhlenberg County marching band and so they will be marching today. So, we come to be supportive.

What does he play? He plays the bass drum.

Obviously, you don’t have to tell me – but did you vote for Beshear for governor? Yes, I did. I think he is doing a great job, some good things for Kentucky and I really appreciate that as a parent and as a citizen.

I don’t remember – was Muhlenberg County affected by the tornadoes? Yes, and he was there. He actually came to Bremen, which is about 20 minutes from us, and I do think he’s doing a great job. I knew he was gonna win, he had it wrapped up, because I think that he came in in a very difficult time with first Covid. I think there were maybe some people that were unsure, but I will say I think he has done an excellent job, so I had no doubt – We knew he was gonna win.

– Keesha Goff and Kendell Sampson

Why are you here today? My husband’s in the parade with the Kentucky Division of Forestry.

OK, all right – any other reasons? Tyler Childers and Silas House (laughing), and I love Andy.

Where are you from? I’m from Owingsville.

How did he do down there? I think he did pretty good. Bath County is primarily Democrat, but they have been skewing the other way in the last couple of elections. But everybody I know loves him.

OK, why? Because he did so well through the pandemic. He did his best to keep us all safe and he’s tried hard, in spite of not having a whole lot of help.

– Marna Saunders

Why are you here today? Wonderful tradition – get out and have some fun and watch our newly-reinaugurated governor take his oath

So you’re here, you’re at the parade – you gonna stay for the inauguration? Yes.

And why is that important to you? Well, I major in political science and history, and I just have an interest in the topic for one. And, I’m interested in public service myself one day, and so it’s good to be here.

So where are you all from? Floyd county.

How do you think Andy did in his first term? Are you glad he was reelected? I was glad to see him reelected. I think he has done wonderful with the various disasters that we’ve had. It’s been a rough four years for the state with the tornadoes and flooding, especially in East Kentucky. The only complaint I have is some of the Covid restrictions on Easter, and extending the emergency funding for Covid; but other than that, I think he’s done wonderful. I supported him in this election.

– Barrett Hall and Jada Carr

Why are you here? I’m here to celebrate the inauguration of Andy Beshear. I worked very hard on his campaign: I put out over 500 signs, I went out knocking 15 times, and I wouldn’t just do that for anybody. I wrote letters to the editor, I registered voters, I did all that. I believe in Andy Beshear.

I’m from Boyd County; Rocky Atkins is right there with him. Rocky Atkins is someone that I think the world of, and together I think they’ve done wonderful things. I’m really concerned about economic development in Kentucky, and I’ve just been really impressed with what they’ve been able to do. And along with that, a stream of kindness, and that means a lot to me.

And you’re wearing a “Teachers for Andy” shirt. Are you a teacher? I am a retired Kentucky teacher, now teaching in Ohio. But I love everything thing that he did. He helped to secure my retirement. He’s helped for funding, and I just appreciate everything that he’s done for education. I want a pro-public education governor.

– Suzanne Barker Griffith

Why are you here? Because it’s a special day! Because we love the governor.

A special day, because you love the governor – why? Why do you love the governor? Because he’s doing his job. If he wasn’t doing his job I wouldn’t be here. (chuckling)

Are you from Haiti? Yes.

Anything else you want to say about Andy? I wish he would be president one day. When I’m alive. If I’m dead, I’m dead, but I hope he be president. He would be a good one.

– Mondy Jacques

(I walked up on this person as she was being interviewed by someone else, and when I heard her say “I’m a Republican” I decided to jump in and capture what she was saying – after asking, of course.)

So, I’ve worked for state government, particularly in the office of adult education, and he has been in office for almost as long as I have lived here. And he’s just done some fantastic things, not just for education, but for employees.

We’ve had our first raises in over a decade. He has supported adult education, particularly by making sure that the GED test assessment is free. It’s a $120 test, but it’s free to Kentucky, and so that means a lot to us, particularly in our office.

He has been so good about supporting us when we have had things here at the rotunda. The first time we had the Adult Education and Family Literacy Week event, he and the lieutenant governor both came; it was a priority to them. And then the lieutenant governor has made it a priority to support us in so many different things. But, what we are most proud of is that they make that test available for free to all.

Then, the other thing, too, is our legislature also supports us in terms of monetary support. They believe in adult education and the services that we provide, which are so much more than a GED – we offer integrated training programs, dual enrollment programs for adults that want to get a GED, or maybe they want to get a better job, or just get a job period.

So they have been just 150% supportive, and as a person that has has been out in the field teaching Kentuckians, but also here in a leadership position on the state level, that means an awful lot. We’ve been the boots on the ground, but we’ve also been able to support people with programming, and that kind of thing too. So, absolutely tickled with Andy and Jacqueline, and looking forward to another four years.

– Janet Slayden


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Bruce Maples

Bruce Maples has been involved in politics and activism since 2004, when he became active in the Kerry Kentucky movement. (Read the rest of his bio on the Bruce Maples Bio page in the bottom nav bar.)