Ex-Kentucky Governor Julian Carroll Passes Away at 92

(LibertySons.org) – Kentucky’s former governor, Julian Carroll (D), 92, who served constituents in his state for more than 60 years in various capacities, passed away on December 10 just before 5 a.m. at Frankfort Regional Medical Center, according to his family. Tributes and condolences poured in from both sides of the aisle.

Born in 1931 as the third of 11 children born to tenant farmers in West Paducah, Kentucky, Carroll worked his way through school, including college and law school, before serving three years as an Air Force attorney. He returned to Paducah to set up his law practice. However, the young lawyer became embroiled in a political controversy involving whether the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) should provide electricity for local citizens, thereby lowering utility costs. He campaigned and won on behalf of the TVA and local citizens.

Recognition from the TVA fight helped Carroll campaign for and win a seat in the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1961. The lawmaker served five terms in the Kentucky House, including two as House Speaker, before he ran for the lieutenant governor position in 1971.

Carroll succeeded in his bid, serving under then-Governor Wendell Ford. In 1974, Ford took the state’s open Congressional Senate seat, and Carroll succeeded him as governor. In 1975, Carroll won reelection as Governor as an incumbent. The executive became highly effective at passing laws because of his familiarity with the legislature, allowing him to make sweeping changes to modernize Kentucky’s education and judicial systems.

However, a scandal-tainted the end of Carroll’s gubernatorial term when a federal investigation into a kickback scheme implicated a close aide. In 1980, after his term had ended, a grand jury called on Carroll to testify, and he invoked the Fifth Amendment. Opponents also raised questions about improprieties regarding state-owned planes used for family vacations.

Carroll didn’t successfully hold office again until he ran for the state Senate in 2004. Despite a hushed-up scandal from 2005, which allegedly reappeared in 2017, the lawmaker served until his retirement in 2020.

Carroll’s wife of more than 62 years, Charlann Harting Carroll, and one son, Bradley Carroll, predeceased him. The former governor leaves behind three surviving children, Ken, Patrice, and Ellyn, as well as several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

~Here’s to Our Liberty!

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