Yonts will head state’s Civil War commission

State Rep. Brent Yonts has been elected chairman of the commission that will commemorate the 150th anniversary of Kentucky’s role in the Civil War.

Gov. Steve Beshear named the Greenville Democrat to a four-year term on the 25-member Kentucky Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission last winter at the request of House Speaker Greg Stumbo.

Yonts was elected chairman of the commission Tuesday by the membership.  

The group will recommend ways to commemorate Kentucky’s Civil War events, educate people about Kentucky’s role in the war and encourage community participation in activities that increase understanding of the war, according to a news release.

Yonts recently completed an appointment to the Kentucky Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, which was responsible for coordinating a two-year celebration of Lincoln’s 200th birthday on Feb. 12, 2009.


Yonts named to head committee for National Conference of State Legislatures

Rep. Brent Yonts has been named chairman of the Labor and Economic Development standing committee for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Yonts, a Greenville Democrat who represents Muhlenberg, Christian and Hopkins counties in the Kentucky General Assembly, was named to the post at the conference’s annual meeting last month in New Orleans.

Two years ago, Yonts had served as vice chair of the committee, which takes on issues dealing with labor, jobs, the work force, economic development, trade and cultural affairs.

The conference includes legislators from around the country and “provides research, technical assistance and opportunities for policymakers to exchange ideas on the most pressing state issues,” according the the NCSL’s Web site.

News from Fancy Farm

Tidbits picked up at the Democratic and Republican dinners on the eve of the Fancy Farm picnic…

– Secretary of State Trey Grayson, a Republican, told reporters when asked about his future political plans that he is interested in either a U.S. Senate seat or the governor’s office.

Grayson, who won a second term last year as secretary of state after foregoing a gubernatorial run, said he has talked with U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning about his future plans, and said Bunning has told him that he plans to seek a second term in 2010.

Grayson said if Bunning follows through with those plans, he won’t challenge Bunning, but instead will consider a run for governor in 2011. Plans for a gubernatorial run could begin next year, if that’s the office he decides to seek, he said.

– Daviess County native Chad Aull, who now works in the Beshear administration as director of constituent services, was one of the featured speakers at Friday night’s bean supper sponsored by the Marshall County Democratic Party. Aull hails from Philpot and was speaking as president of the Kentucky Young Democrats.

– Members of the local delegation at Friday night’s dinners were Rep. Tommy Thompson of Philpot and Rep. Brent Yonts of Greenville, both Democrats.

– Several speakers at the Democratic dinner at Kentucky Dam Village noted the cooler temperatures inside the convention center this year as compared to previous years. Marshall County Judge-Executive Mike Miller offered one explanation for the cooler temperatures – the change to a Democratic administration with Gov. Steve Beshear’s election last November.

“Now we’ve got Democrats, feel that lovely, cool air,” Miller told the crowd.

– The politics continue when each party hosts a breakfast Saturday morning before the main event begins at St. Jerome Catholic Church at 2 p.m. The Republican Party of Kentucky will gather in the Graves County High School cafeteria at 9 a.m. and the Kentucky Democratic Party will be at Mayfield High School at 8 a.m.

Read more coverage of the night’s events in the Messenger-Inquirer.