There will be a public reception for the citizens of Mercer County and the surrounding communities to celebrate the election of Lt. Governor-elect Jacqueline Coleman from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3, at Lions Park Community Center.
Andy Beshear and Coleman will be sworn in as Kentucky’s next governor and lieutenant governor the following week in Frankfort.
A fifth generation Mercer Countian, Coleman is the first person from Mercer County elected to statewide office since Clell Coleman, her great-great-grandfather, who served as commissioner of agriculture from 1923-1927 and as state auditor from 1927-1931.
Mercer County Judge-Executive Milward Dedman and Harrodsburg Mayor Art Freeman will deliver the welcome.
“Mercer County should be extremely proud of Jacqueline,” said Judge Dedman. “She showed so much poise, professionalism and knowledge throughout the campaign. I know this will carry over during her term as lieutenant governor,”
“I’ve known Jacqueline since she was a kid,” said Mayor Freeman. “I’m proud of her. She will be a good lieutenant governor and I’m looking forward to working with her.”
Coleman, a teacher and coach, promised throughout the campaign to work hard for education policy and for educators. She will be the second teacher elected to the office of lieutenant governor of Kentucky. Martha Layne Collins, who would go on to become the 56th and first woman governor serving from 1983-1987, was the first teacher elected lieutenant governor in 1979. Coleman will be the second lieutenant governor elected from Mercer Count—the first being Gabriel Slaughter who was elected 200 years ago.
Coleman has been quoted numerous times as saying she comes from a long line of public servants. She is the daughter of Jack Coleman Jr., state representative from 1991-2004, and granddaughter of Jack Coleman Sr., who played for the Rochester Royals. The Burgin gym is named for the latter Coleman.
A delegate at the National Democrat Convention in 2008 in Denver, Coleman is the founder of Lead Kentucky, which is focused on helping women in college to become the next generation of leaders.
A graduate of Mercer County High School, she is a graduate of Centre College and the University of Louisville. She was a star athlete at MCHS and Centre. Most recently the assistant principal at Nelson County High School, Coleman also taught at Burgin and East Jessamine high schools. She and her husband, Chris O’Bryan, have three children, Emma, Will and Nate, and will welcome their fourth child in February.
The public is invited to greet the next lieutenant governor at Lions Park Community Center (450 East Factory Street) on Tuesday, Dec. 3, from 6 to 8 p.m.