LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Kentucky Gov.-elect Matt Bevin wants the Bluegrass to look like a lot of other states when it comes to economic policies.
"We are one of six states that still has a death tax," Bevin said, adding it needs to be eliminated because too many people flee with their money to states such as Florida.
On education, he points out Kentucky is one of just a handful of states without charter schools or school vouchers. He wants to start with charter schools.
"We will walk before we run. We will bring school choice to Kentucky," he said.
When it comes to employment, Bevin says Kentucky needs to join surrounding states in becoming "Right to Work," making union membership voluntary. Bevin says for that to happen, it will probably take some historically Democrat districts flipping to Republican next year to give the GOP control of the House.
Bevin agrees with more than half the nation's governors that a hold should be placed on accepting Syrian refugees because there's not enough background data available on who would enter the country.
"We owe it to our current American citizens and their safety first to be thoughtful in this process," he said. But Bevin says he's a firm believer in the need for refugees, and allowing them to pursue the American dream. He says he has hired a number of first generation immigrants through Catholic Charities.
Even if it means going all the way to the Supreme Court, Bevin says he will fight the federal government's demands on Kentucky when it comes to controlling coal to the state's waterways.
"They do not have the legal authority. They bribe us with federal dollars, our own money to get us to stick it to ourselves. That is going to stop for the next four years."
His victory over Jack Conway earlier this month made history, winning a record 106 out of 120 counties.
"I'm humbled by that amount of support," he said. "I'm humbled to win counties that have not been won in 75 to 100 years by a Republican."
Bevin plans to keep doing what turned out to be successful during the campaign: travel a lot. Shortly after the election, he drove six hours to Hazard in Kentucky's coal country to say thanks and listen to residents. One company president told Bevin, "You know
you're the first one to come back."
But Bevin says he always tries to get back to family. He returned to his wife and nine children on all but two nights of the campaign, despite putting on 95,000 miles. His staff says it helps that he routinely gets by on four hours sleep.
Bevin knows he'll probably continue to get little sleep and need plenty of help when he takes over as governor in December.
"I don't have all the solutions. I'm no smarter than the average guy but I'm somebody who does know how to surround myself with people who have ability and to call on wisdom from sources higher than myself."