After a contentious year filled with difficult legislative decisions, scandal, and many changes for his caucus, Acting House Speaker David Osborne reflects on the recent election results and whether or not he would like to officially be elected Speaker of the House in 2019.
Election Results- In an interview with The Bottom Line, Osborne said he was disappointed to see the House Republican caucus lose three incumbents in May, especially House Majority Leader Jonathan Shell.
“I’m not going to deny the fact that it was very, very disappointing to lose Leader Shell. He’s been a great leader in Kentucky, he’s a young man that has done a lot of good for Kentucky. And certainly, that was disappointing,” Osborne said.
He added he doesn’t believe it is fair to draw any conclusions about the general election from the results in May and said he is optimistic about the fall elections.
“I believe the policies we have put in place over the last 18 months are moving Kentucky forward. There has never been a two-year period when we have created more jobs than this last two years, there has never been a two-year period when we have had greater investment in Kentucky businesses than we have in the last two years,” Osborne said. “I think the policies are working. Yes, there are still problems. But I believe the electorate will reward us for the policies put in place over the last two years.”
Speaker of the House- Osborne became Acting House Speaker in late 2017 after the resignation of former Speaker Jeff Hoover and amid many controversies within the House Republican caucus.
Osborne told The Bottom Line his year as Acting Speaker has been “baptism by fire” and said this time last year he would have never envisioned himself in the role during the 2018 session. He also called it one of the most rewarding and humbling experiences of his political life, stating it “was an honor” even though there were times the position wasn’t enjoyable.
As for whether he would like for the caucus to officially elect him Speaker of the House in 2019, Osborne said “I would love to have the opportunity to do it under normal circumstances.”
“It would be nice to be intentional about being Speaker. It would be nice to intentional about developing a plan, developing a team that truly is done with vision as opposed to reaction,” Osborne said.
Watch the interview segment with Osborne below: