Commonwealth Policy Center

As Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell’s political career begins to wind down, many people are wondering who will fill his seat. Before 1912 state legislatures appointed US Senators. If there happened to be a vacant seat the Governor made an appointment. However, that’s changed in recent days. The General Assembly passed a law that gives them greater power over Senate vacancies. The Republican legislature will chose three candidates from the political party of the vacant Senate seat. Then those names are forwarded to the governor who will make the appointment. Gov. Beshear vetoed the bill, but we’re reminded that elections have consequences. The law wasn’t changed by executive or judicial fiat. It was the representatives of the people of Kentucky who made this decision—a decision that will better reflect their values.