As the time grew near for Samara Heavrin’s oath of office ceremony Monday, the lobby of the Grayson County Government Annex began to fill with well wishers. To accommodate the guests, tables were removed from the fiscal court meeting room and chairs rearranged in neat rows.
Among the handful of people reorganizing the furniture was the guest of honor herself. She quickly responded when someone questioned the soon-to-be state representative about her action.
“I’ve always worked,” she said. “No reason to stop now.”
Since winning the special election Nov. 5, Heavrin has participated in a legislative orientation and attended Frankfort committee meetings to familiarize herself with the role. As the 18th District representative, she serves Grayson and an adjacent sliver of Hardin County.
Moments later after the group shared in the Pledge of Allegiance and a time of prayer, Heavrin stepped to the front of the room to take the oath from Grayson County Judge-Executive Kevin Henderson, who she’s known since childhood.
The 27-year-old Republican, who becomes the youngest woman ever to serve in the Kentucky General Assembly, shared the spotlight with her parents, Ray and Monica Heavrin, as they each rested a hand on a Bible given to Samara by her late grandmother, Barbara Bishop.
“The word for this is humbling,” she said in an interview prior to the ceremony. “It’s an honor to be in these shoes.”
About 100 people crowded into the meeting room to watch the ceremony including former state Rep. Tim Moore, who she replaces as the 18th District representative, and Congressman Brett Guthrie, who was her boss during a Washington, D.C., internship while a student at Western Kentucky University.
In brief remarks as the ceremony opened, Guthrie said he observed her work ethic and likability. He said he’s convinced Heavrin has the primary personal qualities required of a people’s legislator.
“I think the key to being successful is just being approachable, particularly in a legislative job,” he said. “People have opinions. They want to share them. They want to tell you. The decisions you make effect a lot of people directly ... and then people need help and they approach you. And I think you’re just going to be blessed.”