Gov. Matt Bevin and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell prepare to visit EKU on Oct. 13, 2018.

It’s time to state an unpopular opinion on this campus. Governor Matt Bevin has done right by the Commonwealth of Kentucky by tackling the pension crisis and the other economic problems we have faced as Kentuckians. I am saying this as someone that has sat down, done the research and has been canvassing across Kentucky, urging people to re-elect him.

Matt Bevin has improved not only the Commonwealth of Kentucky, but the people that call this great place home. Sure, he is having to make tough decisions, but it shows that he has the courage to lead and not cower when facing adversity. Governor Bevin has put in the effort to get Kentucky back on track; he proved that with his responses and his demeanor at the debate a couple of weeks ago.

Let’s first talk about what he has gotten the most flack over — the pension system. Governor Bevin was thrown into a very tough situation because the pension problem had started before he was in office; it just so happens to be the incumbent governor who must deal with it. The media often cracks him out to not care about teachers, but he actually put money into their retirement. 

Tom Lofuts reported in an article from the Courier-Journal that, “One billion dollars in the State General Funds over the two-year budget period to the state employee retirement plans and $2.3 billion over two years for the teacher’s system.” 

The article says this would be the first time that the state pension system was fully funded in a decade. 

Blake Brinkman, a journalist from the Northern Kentucky Tribune, mentions in an article how Steve Beshear only funded 40 percent under the old pension system. The one that Governor Bevin is fighting for is making it mandatory that this system is funded. For a governor to do that is quite an achievement and needs to be celebrated in the state.

A major area of improvement for the Commonwealth of Kentucky is the economy. Since taking office, he has made key reforms that have yielded tangible results.

Mark Green, a writer for The Lane Report, discusses the progress in an article. The areas that have seen the most growth are various urban areas throughout the state, like Louisville, Covington and Lexington. 

Kentucky’s most notable industry is currently seeing a boom too. Bourbon sales and distillery success are continuing on an upward growth. Various hotel projects are starting to invest in the industry.  Other industries that are growing in Kentucky are construction, engineering and aviation. This is going to bring in jobs to the state, of which there are an amply supply of already. 

Jordan Harris, a writer for Pegasus Blog, addresses this in an article from May 2019. According to this article, in the Commonwealth of Kentucky there are 15,000 more jobs than people that are looking for employment. This is very conducive a growing economy within the state.

 Other industries that are important to mention are the auto industry and manufacturing jobs. Going back to Green’s article it quotes both the heads of Toyota.

Susan Elkington, President of the Kentucky Toyota plant, said, “Despite economic challenges from tariffs and trade, higher interest rates and cyclical downturns our economic optimism continues to be fueled by consumer confidence, low unemployment rates and fuel prices.” 

She went on to say many models will be coming out of the plant and that she is happy to be in Kentucky during this boom.

While the article acknowledges that national policies have played somewhat of a role in this. It needs to be noted that the economic models in the state are being headed by Governor Bevin. 

While both factors above are very important and there are many more actions and policies that Governor Bevin has gotten through in his term as governor that add on to why he should be re-elected.

Personal experience with the governor is a great way to judge if he is worthy and so far, it is further proven that point.

During the second Gubernatorial Debate, that was held on Oct 15, at the University of Kentucky, Governor Bevin gave very concise answers. 

During the first part of the debate, the pension issue was discussed. Attorney General and challenger, Andy Beshear, tried to make a conjecture that he was taking teachers pension funding. Governor Bevin told him that it was the opposite of what he was doing and states the point that teachers in the system are staying in the system and are guaranteed retirement. 

Answers like these were a common theme during the debate. Governor Bevin would give clear and concise policy answers and Beshear would try to tell stories about the people that he had met on the campaign trail. While personal stores are nice, a candidate for governor, or any politician for that matter, should be able to talk about the specific policies and how those policies have affected their constituents. 

So when Kentucky votes on Nov 5, everyone needs to ask themselves would they rather re-elect the governor that has brought economic prosperity to the state or the attorney general who can only seem to speak in personal platitudes and can’t seem to give real solutions to the problems facing Kentuckians. For me, that choice is perfectly clear. Governor Bevin is more than deserving of a second term.  

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