Politics & Government

Bevin calls report he bullied state lawmaker ‘absolute malarkey’

Gov. Matt Bevin and Rep.Kevin Sinnette
Gov. Matt Bevin and Rep.Kevin Sinnette

Gov. Matt Bevin took issue Wednesday with a news report that said he allegedly bullied a state legislator.

A July 1 report by CNHI News quoted state Rep. Kevin Sinnette, D-Ashland, saying Bevin threatened on Dec. 28 at the Governor’s Mansion to “take him down” for not switching political parties.

Bevin said the comment was “an absolute lie.”

Republicans have been trying to wrest control of the state House from Democrats for the first time since 1921. Democrats now control the chamber 53-47.

Sinnette, an attorney, told CNHI News on Wednesday that the report was accurate, but Bevin called it “absolute malarkey.”

The Republican governor said Ronnie Ellis, the reporter who wrote the report, had no corroboration that Bevin made the remarks.

“The reality is that people lie about things,” Bevin said. “I absolutely, categorically deny every bit of that drivel. It was partisan. It was pathetic.”

Ellis said he stood by his report.

CNHI News reported that it contacted Bevin’s communications office seeking comment for the original story, but his spokeswoman said at the time that the administration would not comment except to deny the allegation.

Jack Brammer: (502) 227-1198, @BGPolitics