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Bevin Outlines Priorities, Calls For Unity During Inaugural Speech

New Gov. Matt Bevin urged Kentuckians to put aside their differences and come together for the good of the state during his inaugural address on the steps of the state Capitol.

But Bevin also Tuesday outlined a list of policy priorities sure to divide the state in the coming months. Chief among them is repealing the state's Medicaid expansion and replacing it a new system that would reduce the number of people receiving taxpayer-funded health insurance. And he promised to spend public dollars on private education programs to create competition for public schools.

Not mentioned was Bevin's previous promise to protect the religious freedom of county clerks, including Kim Davis who spent five days in jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.


3 p.m.

Kentucky's first black statewide elected official says she will be a positive and uplifting voice for Kentuckians.

Jenean Hampton spoke to hundreds of people on the state Capitol steps on Tuesday before being ceremonially sworn in as the state's next lieutenant governor.

Hampton spoke of her childhood in Detroit, where she was raised in poverty by a single mother. She said God sent her on an "incredible journey" from poverty to Kentucky's second highest elected official and she believes she was "sent to serve."

Hampton also said she looks forward to the "daunting task" of putting Kentucky on solid financial footing. Gov. Matt Bevin's administration has just a few weeks to put together a two-year spending plan for the state legislature to begin debating in the upcoming legislative session.


2:45 p.m.

Kim Davis is attending Gov. Matt Bevin's public swearing-in ceremony in Kentucky.

The Rowan County clerk is famous for spending five days in jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Her incarceration energized thousands of religious conservative voters that aided Bevin, a Republican, in his campaign for governor.

Davis' case is still pending in federal court. But Bevin has promised to issue an executive order removing the names of county clerks from marriage licenses in Kentucky, an act Davis has said would satisfy her conscience.

Davis was a lifelong Democrat but recently changed her voter registration to the Republican party. Her attorney, Mat Staver, said in a news release there was "no question" that Davis and the question of religious freedom played a role in Bevin's victory.


12:30 p.m.

Gov. Matt Bevin has saluted Kentucky veterans at his inaugural parade.

Bevin, a former Army captain, asked veterans to assemble in front of his viewing stand outside the state Capitol at the end of the long parade on Tuesday.

The governor thanked them for their sacrifice, and then pulled out his phone and took a group photo and video. Then he shook hands with the veterans.

Vietnam veteran Bobby Crowe of Hartford, Kentucky, was among the veterans who assembled. He predicts Bevin will be sympathetic to veterans' issues, saying "A vet helps vets."


11:30 a.m.

Kentucky's inaugural parade has a link to Hollywood.

Academy Award-winning actor Jon Voight rode in a convertible near the front of the long parade route that led to Kentucky's Capitol on Tuesday morning.

Voight, who has starred in several movies including "Midnight Cowboy" and "Coming Home," said he recently struck up a friendship with new Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin.

Voight said he admires the state's Republican governor and says Kentuckians are blessed to have him leading the state.

Bevin took the oath of office to become the 62nd governor of Kentucky during a private ceremony just after midnight in the state Capitol.


11:15 a.m.

Gov. Matt Bevin is leading a parade in Frankfort that's part of the day's events to celebrate his inauguration.

Bevin walked at the front of the parade, waving and stopping along the way to shake hands with people who lined the street. Applause could be heard as he walked by. Behind him, marching bands played tunes such as "My Old Kentucky Home."

The early-morning fog lifted to reveal a clear, sunny day for events that included a worship service before the parade and a public swearing-in ceremony on the Capitol steps that's set for the afternoon.


10:40 a.m.

Gov. Matt Bevin's teenage daughter who died in a car crash has been remembered at her father's inaugural worship service.

Brittiney Bevin's last entry in her prayer journal was read at Tuesday morning's service at the Frankfort Convention Center.

The night before she died in 2003, the 17-year-old wrote "my dangerous prayer is that You'll place broken-hearted people in my path and fill me with You so that I can let Your love heal their pain."

The state's second Republican governor since 1971, who ran as a Christian conservative, took office Tuesday morning. About 1,500 people attended his inaugural service.

The Rev. Dave Stone, from Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, prayed that "when the going gets tough," Bevin will "choose the more difficult right rather than the easier wrong."


12:01 a.m.

Matt Bevin has taken the oath to become the 62nd governor of Kentucky during a private ceremony just after midnight in the state Capitol.

Bevin succeeds Democrat Steve Beshear, who could not seek re-election because of term limits. Bevin is only the state's ninth Republican governor in its 223-year history and the second since 1971.

A full day of events is scheduled for Tuesday, including a worship service, a parade and a public swearing-in ceremony on the Capitol steps.

An investment manager from Louisville, Bevin has never held public office. He started his political career by losing badly to U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell in the 2014 Senate primary.

But Bevin came back to win the Republican primary for governor by just 83 votes. He defeated Democrat Jack Conway in November.