Remembering U.S. Senator Wendell Ford

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2015) – Kentucky lost a great leader last Thursday in former  U.S. Senator Wendell Ford. Ford, who passed away at the age of 90, was the first person in Kentucky history to be elected lieutenant governor, governor and U.S. senator.

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Several members of the Kentucky Senate Majority offered statements honoring Sen. Ford and we thought those memories were appropriate to share on the day of the late senator’s funeral:

“Today Kentucky mourns the loss of an icon in the passing of former U.S. Senator Wendell Ford. As a lieutenant governor, governor and senator of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Senator Ford devoted his life to public service, fought hard for Kentucky, and was a statesman in the truest sense of the word. Even though we were on different sides of the political spectrum, I respect and celebrate his lifetime of service to our state and our people.

“It is a little known fact that Senator Ford’s sister, B.J. Sharpe, was a longtime Legislative Research Commission employee. On behalf of the LRC and the members of the Senate, I send my sympathies and condolences to Ms. Sharpe and all the family and friends of Senator Wendell Ford.”

– Senate President Robert Stivers

“Senator Ford was an icon in Kentucky; certainly one of a kind. His commitment to public service is to be admired. My condolences go out to his many friends and family.”

– Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer

“I was saddened to hear of the passing of Wendell Ford, former governor and U.S. senator. Senator Ford was a political icon and devoted his life to public service, fighting for Kentucky. I send my prayers and sympathies to his family and friends. He will be greatly missed.”

– Senate Majority Whip Jimmy Higdon

“Wendell and Jean Ford have been our next-door neighbors for 33 years. Wendell watched my children grow up and we have watched them celebrate the arrival of their grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We were more than neighbors; we were true friends. While not politically aligned on many issues, we still had great respect for one another. Our backyard discussions were often lively, but Wendell and I both have had one goal: “A Better Kentucky.” I truly appreciate his dedication to public service and his many accomplishments. Vicki and I will miss him greatly.”

– Senator Joe Bowen

“Our Commonwealth has lost one of it’s most well known and effective advocates.  Senator Wendell Ford will forever be remembered for his passion and strong work ethic in Frankfort and our nation’s capital.  He always stood up for what he believed in and had a self proclaimed ‘tough hide’ to get him through the struggles of public service.  His sister, BJ Sharpe is my great aunt and she also served this Commonwealth through her diligent work within the Legislative Research Commission.  My wife, Courtney and I offer our prayers and deepest sympathies to BJ and the entire Ford family.”

– Senator Chris Girdler



FRANKFORT, Ky. (Friday, Jan. 9, 2014) – After successfully passing the “heroin bill” and “right-to-work” bill on Thursday, the Kentucky Senate approved two more pieces of legislation (referred to as an “administrative regulations” bill and an “informed consent” bill) on Friday morning to close out ‘part one’ of the two-part, 2015 legislative session.

Immediately following Thursday’s session which passed Senate Bills 1 and 5, the Senate Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection Committee met to hear Senator Julie Raque Adams (R-Louisville)-sponsored Senate Bill 4, which redefines current law by requiring that a woman considering an abortion have a face-to-face meeting with her physician before following through with the procedure. After hearing testimony from a group of supporters, the measure was reported out of committee favorably.

Following the Veterans, Military Affairs and Public Protection Committee meeting, the Senate State and Local Government Committee met to hear Chairman and primary bill sponsor Sen. Joe Bowen (R-Owensboro) present Senate Bill 2, which would prevent the executive branch of state government from administrating regulations found deficient by the General Assembly. Senate Bill 2 also was reported out of committee favorably and both bills were approved on the Senate floor Friday morning.

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“I was pleased with what we were able to accomplish in this four-day period,” Senate President Robert Stivers (R-Manchester) said Friday. “We wanted to send the message that the Senate is here to lead, to be bold and to get things done in Frankfort.

“Every piece of legislation we acted on this week touched on the goals we’ve outlined this session – to create Kentucky jobs and strengthen Kentucky families. I think it was a successful four days and we plan to build on this momentum as we move toward part two of the session in February.”