Ernest Lee Fletcher was the 60th governor of Kentucky. He is the second physician to be elected Governor of Kentucky; the first was Luke P. Blackburn in 1879. Fletcher served in the U.S. Air Force during the Cold War. He left the Air Force after budget cuts reduced his squadron’s flying time.
About Ernie Fletcher in brief
Ernest Lee Fletcher was the 60th governor of Kentucky. He is the second physician to be elected Governor of Kentucky; the first was Luke P. Blackburn in 1879. Fletcher served in the U.S. Air Force during the Cold War. He left the Air Force after budget cuts reduced his squadron’s flying time and earned a degree in medicine, hoping to earn a spot as a civilian on a space mission. After his term as governor, he returned to the medical field as founder and CEO of Alton Healthcare. Fletcher was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1994. In 1998, he was elected the first of three consecutive terms in the United States House of Reps. He resigned in 2003 after being elected governor. He lost his re-election bid in 2007 after a grand jury returned several indictments against members of Fletcher’s staff, and eventually against Fletcher himself. Fletcher issued pardons for anyone on his staff implicated in the investigation, but did not pardon himself. The investigation was ended by an agreement between Fletcher and the state’s highest-ranking Democrat, Greg Stumbo in late 2006, but it continued to overshadow Fletcher’s re- election bid. He has two adult children and four grandchildren. He was a member of the National Beta Club and the Kappa Sigma fraternity at the University of Kentucky, where he was an all-state saxophone player and was elected prom king. He also served as a Baptist lay minister and family practice physician before entering politics.
Fletcher is married to Glenna Foster, with whom he has two children, Rachel and Ben. He lives in Lexington, Kentucky, with his wife and two adult daughters, Rachel, a physician, and Ben, a dentist. He currently lives with his husband and two children in a suburb of Louisville, Kentucky. The couple has a son and daughter-in-law, who lives in Louisville with their three children and two step-grandchildren. Fletcher has a daughter and a step-daughter-one, both of whom live in Louisville. He had a son with his second wife, Jennifer, and a daughter with his third wife, Amy. He and his wife have two adult sons and one step-son, who live in Lexington with their two children and one grandchild. Fletcher’s son, Ben, is a physician and serves as the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Kentucky College of Pharmacy. He served as an Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps in the 1970s and 1980s. In 1984, he graduated medical school with a Doctor of Medicine degree. In 1994, he became one of the House Republican caucus’ top advisors regarding health care legislation, particularly the Patients’ Bill of Rights. He ran for and lost a seat in the House of Rep. Scotty Baesler, but lost to incumbent ScottyBaesler. In 2000, he ran for a seat in the Senate and defeated Democratic state senator Ernesto Scorsone. In 2004, Fletcher became the first Republican to win a statewide office in Kentucky since Reconstruction.