Steven Lynn Beshear (born September 21, 1944) is an American attorney and politician who served as the 61st governor of Kentucky from 2007 to 2015. He served in the Kentucky House of Representatives from 1974 to 1980, was the state's 44th attorney general from 1980 to 1983 and was the 49th lieutenant governor from 1983 to 1987. After graduating from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1968, Beshear briefly practiced law in New York before returning to Kentucky and being elected to the state legislature, where he gained a reputation as a consumer advocate. He parlayed that reputation into a term as attorney general, serving under Governor John Y. Brown Jr. As attorney general, Beshear issued an opinion that copies of the Ten Commandments must be removed from the walls of the state's classrooms in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Stone v. Graham. He also clashed with first lady Phyllis George Brown when he opposed the practice of charging an admission fee for visitors to view the renovated governor's mansion. In 1983, Beshear was elected lieutenant governor in the administration of Governor Martha Layne Collins. His most significant action in this capacity was the formation of the Kentucky Tomorrow Commission, a panel charged with making recommendations for the future of the state. Beshear's initial rise to political prominence was interrupted in 1987 when he finished third in a five-candidate Democratic gubernatorial primary election.
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