Longtime Economic Development Secretary Plans To Resign

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - Longtime Cabinet for Economic Development
Secretary Gene Strong, who has held the post since 1993, said Friday that he's resigning next year.

Strong began as a deputy secretary in the cabinet in 1991 under former Gov. Brereton Jones, but will resign effective Jan. 31, 2007, according to a news release. The Kentucky Economic Development Partnership Board appointed Strong as secretary of the cabinet in March 1993.

"It has been a privilege and distinct honor to serve as secretary of the economic development cabinet for nearly 14 years," Strong said in a statement. "I appreciate the support I have received over the years from three governors, the Kentucky General Assembly, the partnership board, a host of global business leaders and the Kentucky economic development community."

Most of Gov. Ernie Fletcher's original executive cabinet have resigned or switched jobs since he took office in 2003. Among those who have departed include former Commerce Secretary Jim Host, former Education Secretary Virginia Fox and Health and Family services Secretary James Holsinger.

Fletcher inherited Strong in the position. The news release did not say whether a successor had been named.

"Secretary Strong has done an outstanding job of bringing jobs and economic development to Kentucky," Fletcher said in the statement. "I have worked with Gene going back to my days in Congress, and he has done an exemplary job of representing Kentucky around the world."

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

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