Republican Becomes First African-American Elected to Statewide Office in Kentucky

Jenean Hampton / AP

Jenean Hampton / AP

BY:

Jenean Hampton became the first African-American to be elected to statewide office in Kentucky on Tuesday, becoming the lieutenant governor for the state.

Hampton, who grew up poor in inner-city Detroit, is a military veteran. She served as a computer systems officer in the U.S. Air Force for seven years, during which time she was deployed to Operation Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia.

Hampton and her running mate, Governor-elect Matt Bevin, are Tea Party activists who have never been elected to political office. Bevin previously lost the senatorial primary race to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), now majority leader, in 2014. He beat state Attorney General Jack Conway, a Democrat, in the race for governor Tuesday.

In 2014, Hampton unsuccessfully challenged the longest continually serving state representative in the state, Democrat Jody Richards, who has been serving in the Kentucky legislature since 1975.

Hampton celebrated the win on social media Tuesday night, tweeting, "THANK YOU KENTUCKY for the opportunity to serve you!"

Morgan Chalfant   Email Morgan | Full Bio | RSS
Morgan Chalfant is a staff writer at the Washington Free Beacon. Prior to joining the Free Beacon, Morgan worked as a staff writer at Red Alert Politics. She also served as the year-long Collegiate Network fellow on the editorial page at USA TODAY from 2013-14. Morgan graduated from Boston College in 2013 with a B.A. in English and Mathematics. Her Twitter handle is @mchalfant16.