FRANKFORT -- Reaching across party lines, Democratic Gov.-elect Andy Beshear said Friday that he will appoint Republican Attorney General-elect Daniel Cameron to become Kentucky's top law enforcement officer a few weeks early.
Cameron's selection to serve the final weeks of Beshear's term as attorney general will take effect Dec. 17. Cameron begins his full term as AG on Jan. 6 following his victory in the November election.
"The people of Kentucky elected him to serve as their attorney general and I will therefore be appointing him Dec. 17," Beshear said in a release. "I am confident that Daniel and I will be able to work together and find common ground to move Kentucky forward."
Beshear takes office as governor next Tuesday. Since winning election, the incoming governor has stressed the need for civility and cross-party cooperation to confront the state's problems. Beshear will be dealing with a Republican-dominated legislature.
The transitions come as several politically charged lawsuits are pending that involve the governor's office or attorney general's office. Decisions by Beshear or Cameron will affect the future of the suits, but since the election both have been tight lipped about the cases.
Outgoing Republican Gov. Matt Bevin's administration is involved in several abortion-related cases in federal courts.
Meanwhile, pending litigation from the AG's office includes a lawsuit challenging an investigation of mass teacher protests by Bevin's administration.
Cameron said Friday that he appreciates Beshear for giving him the opportunity to take office early. Cameron has been assembling his staff in preparation for becoming attorney general.
"As chief law enforcement officer for the commonwealth, I have a responsibility to be a voice for the voiceless, to fight on behalf of our law enforcement community, and to serve Kentuckians each day," Cameron said in a statement.
Cameron discussed his priorities, saying: ""We will stem the tide of the drug epidemic, we will fight for life and we will defend the laws of our Commonwealth. Kentuckians deserve no less."
The announcement capped a busy day of appointments for Beshear. He filled several high-level jobs in his upcoming administration, including giving his general counsel -- La Tasha Buckner -- a second key role as his chief of staff.
Buckner has worked for Beshear as an assistant deputy attorney general. In that role, she argued some of the state's highest-profile cases, including those involving pension reform and budget cuts to universities. Beshear recently announced her role as general counsel in the governor's office.
Beshear said Holly McCoy-Johnson will serve as Finance Cabinet secretary. She has considerable experience across state government. Mike Berry, who for many years led the Kentucky Derby Festival, will serve as Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet secretary, Beshear said.
John Hicks will serve as state budget director and former state Sen. Dorsey Ridley will direct legislative services for the governor's office, Beshear said.
Tom Miller will serve as Commissioner of the Department of Revenue.
Lt. Gov.-elect Jacqueline Coleman announced that Susan Rieber will serve as her chief of staff in the lieutenant governor's office.