Hampton’s ‘dark forces’ tweet remains a mystery

Bevin claims no involvement in firing of Hampton's deputy chief of staff

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Kentucky’s outgoing Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton had no further explanation Monday for her tweet asking for prayers in battling what she described as “dark forces.”

Her office did not respond to WAVE 3 News’ request for comment.

Hampton posted the remark Friday after her deputy chief of staff was fired.

Gov. Matt Bevin said Monday he was not involved in the firing of Adrienne Southworth, and did not know of the circumstances.

“People are not let go for no reason,” Bevin said. “There’s reasons for things and there’s a methodology for how things are done, and I trust that our staff has handled this accordingly.”

Hampton was a relative unknown to voters before she was tapped as Bevin’s runningmate in 2015, and became the first African-American to hold a statewide office in Kentucky. Hampton had close ties to the state Tea Party.

“There are some supporters of Hampton who have been upset about this,” Kentucky Public Radio Capitol reporter Ryland Barton said. “And I think going forward, we’ll be watching that to see if Gov. Bevin’s able to keep them in the fold.”

“There are different factions within the Republican party,” Democratic State Senator Morgan McGarvey said. “There’s the Tea Party faction, which the lieutenant governor is part of. She’s saying she’s unhappy with him. This shows a division within the Republican Party.”

Hampton was dropped from Bevin’s re-election ticket in January. Her two top aides have since been fired by the Governor’s Office.

GOP consultant Les Fugate said any executive office drama involving a lieutenant governor won’t likely register with voters.

“My guess is, if you ask the average Kentuckian who is the lieutenant governor of Kentucky, most would say, ‘I have absolutely no idea,’” Fugate said. “While it’s something that takes away from things he wants to talk about, I don’t know that the average Kentuckian is talking about it.”

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