Governor appoints Bowling Green mayor to secretary of state office

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FRANKFORT - Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson announced today he is resigning to accept a post at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Friday afternoon, Gov. Steve Beshear announced he will appoint Bowling Green Mayor Elaine Nogay Walker to finish out the 11 months of Grayson's term.

“This constitutional office is too important to the citizens of this state to allow any delay in appointing a new leader,” Beshear said in a press release. “Therefore, I am excited to announce that Elaine has accepted this position and agreed to bring the skills and commitment she has shared with the people of Bowling Green to Frankfort. I am confident that she will be an excellent leader for our state.”

“It is an honor to be selected by Gov. Beshear to serve the Commonwealth as Secretary of State,” Walker said in a release from the governor's office. “I pledge to the governor and to all the citizens of Kentucky that I will perform the functions of this important position in an honorable, thoughtful and dedicated manner. The Office of Secretary of State has special significance to me since it was the first statewide office in Kentucky where a woman, Emma Guy Cromwell, was elected to serve in 1923. I am also pleased to announce my intention to file to run for a full term for Secretary of State.”

The Secretary of State is one of seven statewide constitutional officers elected in Kentucky every four years. The office oversees the administration of all elections for public office in Kentucky, as well as the incorporation of businesses in the state. The office also maintains records related to the Governor and the General Assembly.

Walker is the 39th mayor of Bowling Green and the first in the city’s history to be elected to two successive terms. Walker has nearly 30 years of government experience, including positions with two U.S. representatives and the Los Angeles City Council.

Walker is only the second Kentucky mayor to be elected to the highly competitive Board of Trustees for the U. S. Conference of Mayors. She also serves as chair of the International Relations Committee, and was Chair of the Women Mayors of America’s Cities from 2007-2009. Walker is also the current president of the Kentucky League of Cities.

Prior to entering public service, Walker was employed by a Los Angeles TV station. She has been married for 33 years to Dorian Walker, a decorated Vietnam veteran, and has two children.