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Former Jenean Hampton aide fired by Matt Bevin files to run for state Senate

Louisville Courier-Journal logo Louisville Courier-Journal 1/10/2020 Ben Tobin, Louisville Courier Journal
Jenean Hampton et al. sitting posing for the camera: Adrienne Southworth sits next to Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton and Steve Knipper at the Kentucky Personnel Board meeting on Friday, Aug. 9, 2019. © Tom Loftus Adrienne Southworth sits next to Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton and Steve Knipper at the Kentucky Personnel Board meeting on Friday, Aug. 9, 2019.

Adrienne Southworth, the aide to former Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton who was fired by former Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin, filed to run for state Senate on Friday afternoon.

When asked by a Courier Journal reporter on Friday who she voted for in the 2019 governor's race, Southworth said she couldn't remember. When asked if it was Bevin, Southworth said "definitely not."

The Lawrenceburg Republican is running for the 7th District seat held by Democratic Sen. Julian Carroll, who is retiring.

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Southworth is one of five Republicans to file to run in the district. If successful, she would take on Joe Graviss, a current state representative who is the only Democrat to file to run in the district.

Southworth, who served as Hampton's deputy chief of staff, received a letter on May 30 of last year saying her services were "no longer needed." She told The Courier Journal the following month she had "no earthly clue" why she was fired.

Background: A timeline of the firing of Lt. Gov. Hampton's aide

Sixteen days after Southworth was fired, Bevin's chief of staff, Blake Brickman, owned up to authorizing her termination. In a statement, Brickman said Southworth was fired for a number of reasons, "not the least of which were repeatedly advocating that the governor commute the sentence of an individual who is serving a twenty-five year sentence for raping his own step-daughter."

Southworth denied she advocated for leniency for sex offenders, saying that "we were expecting character assassination" from the Bevin administration.

Former Gov. Matt Bevin's chief of staff: I fired Jenean Hampton's aide. Here's why.

During his administration, Bevin pardoned or commuted the sentences of at least 17 people who committed sexual crimes.

Who did Matt Bevin pardon and why?: Look up his Kentucky pardons on our exclusive database

Shortly after Southworth was fired, Hampton — who was excluded from Bevin's failed reelection ticket in favor of state Sen. Ralph Alvarado — called for "prayer warriors" as she battled "dark forces" in the Bevin administration.

Southworth was the second person on Hampton's staff fired by the Bevin administration in five months, with Steve Knipper, Hampton's former chief of staff, being the first in late January. 

Though Hampton sued Bevin in August 2019 to restore her two fired staff members to their jobs, a judge ruled in October that Bevin had the authority to fire Hampton's staff without her authorization.

Reporter Phillip M. Bailey contributed to this article.

Contact Ben Tobin at bjtobin@gannett.com and 502-582-4181 or follow on Twitter @TobinBen. Support strong local journalism by subscribing today: subscribe.courier-journal.com.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Former Jenean Hampton aide fired by Matt Bevin files to run for state Senate

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