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Bam Carney has a new entry for his resume; a leadership position in state government.
Carney, who serves as representative for the state’s 51st district, was recently elected minority whip in the House of Representatives.
The state is divided into 100 districts, with a representative elected for each district. Carney represents Taylor and Adair counties.
The House of Representatives is made up of 55 Democrats and 44 Republicans, with one seat up for election soon.
There are eight leadership positions in the House, including the speaker of the house, speaker pro temp and majority and minority floor leaders, caucus chairmen and whips.
Carney said the seats are up for grabs after each General Election, with elections for the positions last week, during the first four days of this year’s 30-day General Assembly session.
Since Carney is a Republican, the minority party in the House, he was eligible to run for the three minority seats. The speaker of the house and speaker pro temp come from the majority caucus.
“It’s like any election,” he said.
Carney said he decided to run for minority whip position after receiving some support from his lawmaker friends.
“Some of my colleagues encouraged me,” he said.
Carney says when he becomes involved in an organization, he likes to serve in a leadership role in the group.
“To really try to be a part of it,” he said.
Carney had to face a friend, Rep. Adam Koenig, R-Erlanger, to win the seat.
“He’s a very good friend,” Carney said. “That was tough.”
Carney succeeds former Rep. Danny Ford, who has retired. Knowing that the seat was open and, as such, he wouldn’t have to challenge an incumbent, helped Carney decide to run for the position.
“It’s been a really busy week,” Carney said on Friday afternoon. “I’m humbled and honored to have this opportunity.”
As minority whip, Carney’s duties include rallying caucus members, giving support to issues that support the party’s platform, communicating with House leadership members and helping other representatives.
Carney has already begun his minority whip duties and will serve until 2015. Then, he will decide if he will seek re-election.
He said if he finds the position causes him to be away from his family too much, he will consider stepping down.
In the other leadership elections, Rep. Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonburg, was again elected speaker of the house, the top leadership position.
Rep. Larry Clark, D-Louisville, was re-elected to his speaker pro temp position.
Rep. Rocky Adkins, D-Sandy Hook, is again the majority floor leader. Rep. Sannie Overly, D-Paris, the first female House leadership member, was elected majority caucus chairman and Rep. Tommy Thompson, D-Owensboro, is once again majority whip.
Rep. Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, was again elected minority floor leader. Rep. Bob DeWeese, R-Louisville, has been re-elected as minority caucus chairman.
Carney said he doesn’t know when the last Campbellsville resident served in a House leadership position.
That information wasn’t available at press time, though a Legislative Research Commission representative said it has been at least 15 years.
He said he hopes to represent his district and the Republican caucus well.
“It’s a challenge any time you’re in leadership,” he said.
So far, Carney said, this year’s session is going well, with both Democrats and Republicans and leaders exhibiting the spirit of cooperation.
“[It] seems like there’s an effort to work together,” he said. “So we can try to resolve some of the major issues we’re trying to resolve.”