By Jack Brammer
FRANKFORT — Crit Luallen, in her first public speech as Kentucky’s 56th lieutenant governor, told several hundred people in the Capitol Rotunda Friday that she is ready to help Gov. Steve Beshear with his “continuing efforts to build a Kentucky poised for a prosperous future.”
Luallen, who has served with six other Kentucky governors in high positions and was elected twice as state auditor, said the day was not one for laying out a new agenda but “to celebrate all that is right and good about our state’s past and its hope for the future.”
Luallen particiapted in a publc-swearing in ceremony that attracted various state officials like Attorney General Jack Conway, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes and Senate President Robert Stivers and other well-wishers.
Beshear named Luallen to be the state’s No. 2 public official to replace Jerry Abramson, who departed to take a job with the White House to help local officials throughout the country.
In his remarks at Friday’s public ceremony, Beshear said Luallen will help his administration in improving access to health care and creating jobs.
Luallen called on several family members and friends to participate in the ceremony.
Tourism Secretary Bob Stewart, who went to school with Luallen, served as moderator.
Catarine Hancock, Luallen’s great niece and a sophomore at Lexington’s Lafayette High School, sang the National Anthem.
The Rev. Nancy Jo Kemper, pastor of New Union Christian Church in Woodford County, gave the invocation and Eleanor Jordan, executive director of the Kentucky Commission on Women, introduced Luallen.
Franklin Circuit Court Judger Philip Shepherd, administered the public oath of office as Luallen’s husband, Lynn Luallen, held the Bible upon which she put her hand. A private swearing-in ceremony was held Thursday at the home of former Chief Justice John Palmore and Carol Palmore.
Centre College President John Roush provided the closing remarks and Colmon Elridge, executive assistant in the governor’s office, sang “My Old Kentucky Home.”
The Governor’s School for the Arts Alumni offered the musical prelude for the ceremony that lasted about an hour.
A public reception was held in the Governor’s Mansion after the ceremony. Music there was provided by the Centre College Kentucky Ensemble.