LEXINGTON -- Gov. Matt Bevin said on Wednesday he does not want Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton to resign, playing down an embarrassing public feud between the two that sparked after he chose not to keep Hampton on his re-election team this year.

Bevin, a Republican, said he has a "great" relationship with Hampton and that neither he nor her has said "one bad word" about each other.

Reminded Wednesday that Hampton made a public plea last month for prayer as she battled "dark forces" working against her in the Capitol, Bevin responded by saying "that's a pretty nebulous term that I don't want to try to define."

"You would have to ask her what that means," he said. "Every one of us could give a different answer what that means."

Hampton has questioned the Bevin administration's right to fire two of her top staffers, including Steve Knipper, chief of staff, in January and Adrienne Southworth, deputy chief of staff, in May.

Knipper and Southworth have appealed their dismissals to the Personnel Board.

Hampton said the firings of her top two staffers were unauthorized and then asked for prayer against the "dark forces" at work against her. She did not elaborate.

Bevin said Wednesday that his relationship with Hampton is "good." He said he last talked to her last week.

Bevin asked if any reporter had heard him or her say "one negative thing" about each other.

"All of this supposed angst that exists between the two of us, have any of you ever witnessed or heard any of that? Have you heard me say one negative thing about her or her one negative thing about me?" he asked. "No. It's all rumors and things that you all gin up or hypothesize on. I have a great relationship with her."

When Bevin was asked in January why he chose state Sen. Ralph Alvarado, R-Winchester, over Hampton as his running mate for his re-election campaign, he said only because he chose Alvarado.

Bevin blamed the media for creating the notion that Hampton should resign.

The first public mention of a Hampton resignation came June 15 when Scott Jennings, a CNN contributor who has served as an adviser to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, wrote on Twitter that Hampton should resign.

Hampton could not be reached for comment late Wednesday.

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