The Kentucky House Democratic Caucus elected a new leadership team on Friday, as they head into the 2023 legislative session with severely diminished numbers.
House Democrats have chosen state Rep. Derrick Graham as Caucus Leader, state Representative Cherlynn Stevenson as Caucus Chair and state Representative Rachel Roberts as Caucus Whip. All three were elected without opposition, according to a news release.
Rep. Graham, who has served Franklin County’s 57th House District for the last 20 years and House Democratic Caucus Chair for the past four, replaces now-former Leader Rep. Joni Jenkins of Louisville, whose term in the Kentucky House ends this month. Graham becomes the first Black legislator to lead a legislative caucus in the General Assembly, continuing the groundbreaking tradition Rep. Jenkins set when she became the first-ever woman in that role.
“I’ve been proud to be on our caucus’ leadership team since the end of 2018 and look forward to building on that role as caucus leader during the next two years,” Leader Graham said. “It means so much to have the support of my fellow legislators, and I couldn’t ask for a better team as we prepare for the 2023 legislative session and beyond. Our caucus stands ready to work across the aisle and with Governor Andy Beshear to make Kentucky an even better place to live, learn and work – and we stand equally ready to oppose any proposal that would move us in the wrong direction.”
Caucus Chair Cherlynn Stevenson has represented Fayette County’s 88th House District since first being elected in 2018.
“I’m really honored that my fellow House Democrats have given me this incredible opportunity,” she said. “With next year’s legislative session just around the corner, we’re ready to hit the ground running with an agenda that will strengthen families, boost public education, promote economic development, improve our collective health and make sure that Kentuckians have every chance to meet their full potential.”
Caucus Whip Rachel Roberts has served Campbell County’s 67th House District since being elected in a special election in early 2020, and she replaces former Caucus Whip Angie Hatton, whose term as legislator ends this month.
“We have such a close-knit caucus that brings so much experience and expertise to the table, and I will always be grateful they gave me this chance to help turn these assets into strong, viable solutions for Kentucky,” Rep. Roberts said. “As part of this new leadership team, I cannot wait to see all that we can achieve. Our agenda will build on the incredible success Kentucky has had in many areas while better tackling those sizable challenges many Kentuckians unfortunately still face.”
Republicans control 80 of the 100 House seats in the 2023 legislature.