Ernest Lee "Ernie" Fletcher (born November 12, 1952) is a Republican politician from the U.S. state of Kentucky. In 1998, he was elected to the first of three consecutive terms in the United States House of Representatives; he resigned in 2003 after being elected the 60th governor of Kentucky and served in that office until 2007. Prior to his entry into politics, Fletcher was a family practice physician and a Baptist lay minister. He is only the second physician to be elected governor of Kentucky; the first was Luke P. Blackburn in 1879.
Fletcher graduated from the University of Kentucky and joined the United States Air Force to pursue his dream of becoming an astronaut. He left the Air Force after budget cuts reduced his squadron's flying time and earned a degree in medicine, hoping to earn a spot as a civilian on a space mission. Deteriorating eyesight eventually ended those hopes, and he entered private practice as a physician and conducted services as a Baptist lay minister. He became active in politics and was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1994. Two years later he ran for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, but lost to incumbent Scotty Baesler. When Baesler retired to run for a seat in the U.S. Senate, Fletcher again ran for the congressional seat and defeated Democratic state Senator Ernesto Scorsone. He soon became one of the House Republican caucus' top advisors regarding health care legislation, particularly the Patients' Bill of Rights.
Fletcher was elected governor in 2003 over state Attorney General Ben Chandler. Early in his term, Fletcher achieved some savings to the state by reorganizing the executive branch. He proposed an overhaul to the state tax code in 2004, but was unable to get it passed through the General Assembly. When Republicans in the state senate insisted on tying the reforms to the state budget, the legislature adjourned without passing either, and the state operated under an executive spending plan drafted by Fletcher until 2005, when both the budget and the reforms were passed. Later in 2005, Attorney General Greg Stumbo, the state's highest-ranking Democrat, launched an investigation into whether the Fletcher administration's hiring practices violated the state's merit system. A grand jury returned several indictments against members of Fletcher's staff, and eventually against Fletcher himself. Fletcher issued pardons for anyone on his staff implicated in the investigation, but did not pardon himself. Though the investigation was ended by an agreement between Fletcher and Stumbo in late 2006, it continued to overshadow Fletcher's re-election bid in 2007. After turning back a challenge in the Republican primary by former Congresswoman Anne Northup, Fletcher lost the general election to Democrat Steve Beshear. After his term as governor, he returned to the medical field as founder and CEO of Alton Heathcare. He is married and has two grown children.
Other articles related to "ernie fletcher, fletcher":
... and Republican candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky during the term of Ernie Fletcher as Governor of Kentucky Rudolph served as Kentucky's Secretary of the Executive ... Governor of Kentucky in the 2007 election, running along with incumbent Governor Ernie Fletcher ... Fletcher and Rudolph won the May primary with 101,328 votes (50.08%) to 73,919 (36.53%) for former Congresswoman Anne Northup and her running mate, state representative Jeff Hoover, and ...
... Ancestors of Ernie Fletcher 16 ... Isaac Fletcher 8 ...
Famous quotes containing the word fletcher:
“Joys as winged dreams fly fast,
Why should sadness longer last?
Grief is but a wound to woe;
Gentlest fair, mourn, mourn no moe.”
—John Fletcher (15791625)