(AP) — Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has appointed an influential Democratic lawmaker to be the next secretary of the Justice and Public Safety cabinet.
State Rep. John Tilley of Hopkinsville is a former prosecutor and the first Democrat Bevin has appointed to his administration. The move gives Tilley a significant salary increase while damaging Democrats' efforts to keep control of the House of Representatives.
Republicans are just four seats shy of a majority in the House after Democratic state Rep. Denver Butler switched parties last month. The appointment will trigger a special election in Tilley's district, where Republicans have a good chance of winning.
In a news release, Tilley said he was "honored" to serve in Bevin's administration.