FRANKFORT — Crit Luallen, in her first public speech as Kentucky's 56th lieutenant governor, told several hundred people in the Capitol Rotunda on Friday that she is ready to help Gov. Steve Beshear with his "continuing efforts to build a Kentucky poised for a prosperous future."
Luallen, who has served with six other Kentucky governors in high positions and was elected state auditor twice, said the day was not for laying out a new agenda but "to celebrate all that is right and good about our state's past and its hope for the future."
One day after being sworn in during a private ceremony, Luallen participated in a public swearing-in Friday that attracted a host of state officials, including Attorney General Jack Conway, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes and Senate President Robert Stivers.
Beshear appointed Luallen as the state's No. 2 public official to replace Jerry Abramson, who departed to take a job with the White House to help local officials throughout the country.
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In his remarks at Friday's public ceremony, Beshear said Luallen will help his administration improve access to health care and create jobs.
Luallen called on several family members and friends to participate in the ceremony.
Tourism Secretary Bob Stewart, who went to school with Luallen, was moderator. Catarine Hancock, Luallen's great-niece and a sophomore at Lexington's Lafayette High School, sang the National Anthem.
Franklin Circuit Court Judger Phillip Shepherd administered the public oath of office as Luallen's husband, Lynn Luallen, held the Bible upon which she put her hand. A private swearing-in was held Thursday at the home of former state Supreme Court Chief Justice John Palmore and Carol Palmore.