FRANKFORT — Former Lt. Gov. Steve Pence, a Republican who co-hosted a Sept. 9 fund-raiser in Jefferson County for Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear’s re-election campaign, has been appointed by Beshear to the State Fair Board.
The fund-raiser was not a factor in the appointment, Beshear said Thursday.
Beshear said he appointed Pence to the board “because he’s a very highly qualified individual who will bring a lot of knowledge and experience there where it’s needed.”
He noted that the State Fair Board is taking on the new arena in Louisville as part of its operations.
“Steve’s experience will bode well for how they handle that,” Beshear said.
The board already operates two of the largest convention and trade show facilities in the state — the Kentucky Exposition Center and the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville.
It also produces the Kentucky State Fair, the National Farm Machinery Show and the North American International Livestock Exposition.
Pence, who was lieutenant governor with Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher from 2003 to 2007, could not immediately be reached for comment.
Pence replaces on the board William P. Malone of Louisville, whose term has expired, according to documents filed with the secretary of state’s office.
Pence’s term on the board runs through July 15, 2014.
Pence told the Herald-Leader in August that he was supporting Beshear’s re-election because he thought Beshear had “done a good job” and “made some very tough decisions.”
Beshear reappointed to the board Gibson G. Gosser of Somerset to represent the Kentucky Association of Fair and Horse Shows. Like Pence, he will serve until July 15, 2014.