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Beshear Taps Former Lexington Police Chief For State Public Safety Post

Josh James

Gov. Andy Beshear is drafting another familiar Lexington name to serve in his administration. The selection helps round out the Democrat’s still-forming Justice and Public Safety Cabinet.

Ronnie Bastin is set to become the deputy secretary of the cabinet, with Beshear pointing to his nominee's decades of experience.

"He has a 39-year history in law enforcement and correctsions," the governor said. "He served the people of Lexington as both chief of police and as commissioner of public safety." 

Bastin ran an unsuccessful campaign for Lexington mayor against Linda Gorton in 2018. He now joins former Lexington mayor Jim Gray, who has signed on as Beshear’s new Transportation Secretary.

The former police chief was reportedly unable to attend Beshear’s Friday announcement due a "family emergency that turned out ok."

Among other positions, the governor also revealed that former Kentucky State Police Commissioner Rodney Brewer has agreed to return to the post.

"With the changes that we are currently seeing in general threats to our population, the rise of domestic terrorism, I believe that Rodney Brewer ensures that we are in good hands," Beshear said. 

Beshear now has a full cabinet, but some deputy secretary and commissioner positions remain open.