Rep. Bam Carney Dies at 51

Rep. Bam Carney, a school teacher, and the former House Majority Floor Leader has passed away at age 51.

Carney fell ill in December 2019 diagnosed with pancreatitis, undergoing multiple surgeries in the months that would follow, according to reports from his family.

The Campbellsville Republican returned home from the hospital in early June 2021, but within days his health turned and he was back under the care of hospital staff, according to social media posts from his family.

An outpouring of memories from friends, colleagues, and family appeared on social media on Saturday morning following the news of Carney’s passing.

Congressman James Comer writing, “Kentucky lost a statesman today with the passing of my great friend Bam Carney. Bam was one of a kind guy: Christian, family man, strong Kentucky leader, charismatic, funny, solid golfer, and loyal friend. Bam was always there for me. My and TJ’s prayers go out to his beautiful family.

Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles also remarked on the passing of his friend in a statement.

“I just learned about the passing of my former House colleague and friend, Representative Bam Carney,” Quarles said. “When I was first elected to the House of Representatives, Bam was patient and kind in helping teach me the legislative process and how to best represent my constituents. He knew how to do both well, and was a visitor to my district many times over the years. 

“Bam was a fighter. Through his role as chair of the House Education Committee, Bam fought to put the interests of students first. As House Majority Leader, he fought to bring about conservative vision for Kentucky, increase economic opportunities, and make the American dream possible for more Kentuckians,” Quarles continued. “And, in these last few years, he fought tirelessly to get well, get home, and get back to representing his constituents in the halls of Frankfort. During this difficult time, my thoughts and prayers are with his family and all who called him a friend. He will be missed.”

State Auditor Mike Harmon, R-Kentucky, also share his thoughts on the loss of the 51-year old Carney.

“I am very saddened to learn about the passing of my former colleague in the Kentucky House, and more importantly my friend, Rep. Bam Carney,” Harmon wrote. “Bam was a tremendous leader for his district and the Commonwealth as the former House Majority Leader and on the House Education Committee.  Bam tirelessly worked for the betterment of our classrooms, and served all Kentuckians with compassion.

“Lynn and I offer our thoughts and prayers to Bam’s sons, his brother, and all his many friends, family and constituents.”