Kentucky became the 15th state to join the Union on June 1, 1792. Kentucky’s first two senators, John Brown and John Edwards, were elected on June 18, 1792, and were seated on November 5, 1792. Kentucky’s longest-serving senators include Wendell Ford (1974-1999) and Mitch McConnell (1985-present). Among those who rose to leadership positions are John Brown and John Pope, both of whom served as the Senate’s president pro tempore, and Alben Barkley and Mitch McConnell, who served as Democratic floor leader and Republican floor leader, respectively. As vice president, both Barkley and John C. Breckinridge became the Senate’s constitutional president, or presiding officer.

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