Kentucky General Assembly

Kentucky Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear speaks to the press at the Capitol in Frankfort, Ky., Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020.

(The Center Square) - Citing the riots that took place in Washington on Wednesday, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear postponed his annual State of the Commonwealth and budget address that had been scheduled for later in the evening. 

Beshear, a Democrat, said in a statement said the decision was a joint between him, Speaker of the House David Osborne and Senate President Robert Stivers, both Republicans. 

“We all recognize the gravity of this situation,” Beshear said. 

The address will now take place tonight. 

In a separate video statement, released on Twitter before the cancellation, he said Wednesday was a hard day for the nation. 

“Domestic terrorists have stormed and infiltrated our U.S. Capitol building, a building that stands for American democracy,” he said. 

Last spring, protestors in Frankfort held marches around the state Capitol and governor's mansion grounds. One man, hung an effigy of Beshear on the property. As a result of the protests, some of which featured armed demonstrators, Beshear ordered a security fence to be installed around the mansion, where he, his wife and two pre-teen kids live.

The governor was one of several Kentucky officials and lawmakers at both the state and federal levels to harshly criticize those who entered the Capitol and disrupted the counting of the Electoral College votes. 

Osborne in his statement called the events “sickening and despicable.” He added that those involved in the violent acts weren’t using “the strategies of patriots but the weapons of anarchists.” 

The protests, which left four people dead, came after Kentuckian and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged his GOP colleagues not to challenge the Electoral College count. 

U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Somerset, said in a statement he denounced the attacks that threatened innocent people. 

Rogers, who first took office 40 years ago, is the longest-serving member of Kentucky’s Congressional Delegation. 

“Violence is never the answer,” he said. “As my staff and I safely shelter in place, I am appalled to see Americans storming the Capitol in an effort to disrupt our very foundation of democracy. I believe every voice should be heard, but violent methods fall on deaf ears.” 

Protestors came to D.C. Wednesday to rally around President Trump, who has issued several false claims about voter fraud in states that swung the election to President-elect Joe Biden. 

In a series of tweets Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said anger should be used in constructive ways. 

“That hasn’t happened today, to say the least. We simply cannot destroy the Constitution, our laws, and the electoral college in the process,” he said.  

“I hope as the nation’s anger cools, we can channel that energy into essential electoral reforms in every state.” 

U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville, tweeted that he and his staff were safe after they were forced to evacuate. He blamed President Trump for stirring the group into action. He also said the President and his supporters in Congress should be held accountable. 

“What happened today was an insurrection, an attempt to overthrow the government by people who claim to love America but obviously do not,” Yarmuth added.