Quick Takes

Sen. Damon Thayer, Republican floor leader, will not run for reelection

By: - December 13, 2023 12:37 pm

Damon Thayer (Photo by LRC Public Information)

Sen. Damon Thayer, a Georgetown Republican and the Kentucky Senate’s majority floor leader for a decade, announced Wednesday he will not seek reelection.

“I have decided not to seek reelection to the state Senate in 2024,” Thayer said. “The end of my current term next year will mark 22 years in the Senate and 12 as Majority Floor Leader. After conversations with my adult children, close friends and colleagues, I have concluded this is the right decision.”

Thayer, an outspoken critic of Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear,  told the Lexington Herald-Leader last month that Republican lawmakers had “no incentive” to work with the newly reelected governor.

 “There’s no incentive or reason for us to work with him,” Thayer said. “He doesn’t deserve an opportunity for reparation, especially after the campaign. He’s taken credit for all our good work, including some things he vetoed.”

Senate President Robert Stivers praised Thayer, saying he “has brought such conviction and passion to creating conservative legislation in Kentucky for over 22 years.”

“I value and came to rely on the energy he poured into Senate floor activity day after day,” Stivers said. “Damon shepherded sound policy through the process, creating a business-friendly environment that’s materialized in the job growth we are seeing today. The commonwealth is better because of Damon Thayer and the Senate will miss him greatly.”

Thayer’s 17th Senate District  includes Grant and Scott counties and portions of Fayette and Kenton. The candidate filing deadline is Jan. 5.

“I have accomplished most of the political and policy goals I set out to achieve,” Thayer said in the release from the Senate Republican Caucus. “I am grateful to the residents of the 17th district who granted me the honor of representing them in the Senate, and to my colleagues in the GOP caucus for the privilege of being their Majority Leader.”

Thayer said he wishes to pursue “exciting private sector opportunities … that will require more of my time and energy, which I am currently not afforded with the great responsibility that comes with being a member of our citizen legislature.”

But, in the statement, he said he will remain a vigorous leader through the end of his term. “With one year remaining in my term, I intend to pursue the policy goals of the Senate GOP with the vigor and enthusiasm people have come to expect. My focus will be a successful 2024 Legislative Session.”



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