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Paul E. Patton (born May 26, 1937) is an American politician who served as the 59th governor of Kentucky from 1995 to 2003. He became wealthy operating coal mines for 20 years, then sold most of his coal interests in the late 1970s and entered politics. After serving briefly in the cabinet of Governor John Y. Brown Jr. and chairing the state Democratic Party, he was elected lieutenant governor in 1991. Four years later, he was elected governor over the Republican Party's Larry Forgy. The major achievement of Patton's first term was overhauling higher education, including making the state's community colleges and technical schools independent of the University of Kentucky and organizing them into the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. Because of a 1992 amendment to the Kentucky Constitution, he was the first governor eligible to succeed himself in office since James Garrard in 1800, and he was re-elected in 1999. (Full article...)
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