Hoover says current term is his last

Posted October 2, 2019 at 8:45 am

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Clinton County native Jeff Hoover, who has represented us in the Kentucky House since 1997, has announced that this will be his last term in office.

Jeff Hoover, who currently resides and practices law in neighboring Jamestown, Kentucky, sent the Clinton County News a fax early Monday morning, announcing his decision.

The legitimacy of that fax from his law office in Jamestown was confirmed by the Clinton County News in an email.

“After much thought and prayer for several months, and discussion with my family, I have decided to not seek reelection as State Representative in 2020. Someone once said as they pondered a different direction in their life, ‘you will just know when it is time,’” Hoover said in Monday’s announcement. “Now is time for me to step aside as State Representative and devote my energy and time to my law practice and business interests, and hopefully be of service to others in different ways.”

Hoover’s political career followed in the footsteps of both of his late parents, Welby and Mae Hoover.

Welby Hoover was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives while living in Russell County, but died shortly before his term was to begin. His widow, Mae Hoover, won a special election to replace him in the legislature and served one term.

Jeff Hoover has held a host of positions within the Kentucky legislature, including a stint as the highest ranking member of the House of Representatives, Speaker of the House.

He has also served as the Minority Floor Leader in the House.

In his announcement Monday, Hoover thanked his family and constituents for their support during his more than two decades in the House.

“First, I thank God for giving me the health and opportunity to serve, and for blessing me with such a wonderful family who has always supported me, sacrificing many times and in many ways,” Hoover said. “I thank my wife Karyn for being patient, understanding and supportive while I served in Frankfort and during the many, many days and nights I traveled across Kentucky to various events and engagements.”

Hoover also offered a note of gratitude to those he served, his constituents of the 83rd House district, the citizens of Clinton, Russell, Cumberland and Pulaski counties.

“I am forever grateful to the citizens of Russell, Clinton, Cumberland and Pulaski counties, who first elected me in 1996 and have re-elected me every two years since without opposition,” Hoover said. “I am humbled and honored to have had the privilege to serve you in Frankfort and the kindness, generosity and support given to me over the years will never be forgotten.”

A long-time favorite of Clinton County voters, he was often the top vote getter in elections, despite appearing on the ballots as an unopposed candidate.

Hoover’s career in Frankfort also included one unsuccessful run for the state’s Lt. Governor’s office, an election he lost in the 2007 Republican primary election as a running mate to former U.S. Representative Anne Northrup, who was defeated in that election by Gov. Ernie Fletcher.

Hoover became the longest serving Republican Leader in the history of the Kentucky House of Representatives and in 2016, after the Republicans gained a super-majority in the Kentucky House of Representatives, he was selected as the Speaker of the House, becoming the first Republican speaker in some 95 years.

Hoover’s political career hasn’t been without a few bumps in the road, however.

Two years after taking that Speaker of the House position, he resigned from the position, but kept his seat in the House of Representatives.

That development came after a scandal in which he was accused of sexual harassment of a legislative employee.

He resigned the Speaker’s position after it was reported that he and three others had been party to a confidential settlement of a lawsuit regarding those sexual harassment charges.

Throughout that entire ordeal, Hoover never wavered on his claim that he did not break the law and although he did admit to exchanging inappropriate text messages with the former employee, he maintained that those text messages were consensual.

In his announcement Monday, he noted that he had “made mistakes but has learned and grown from them.”

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