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Kentucky Governor Fletcher Selected as 2006 ARC States' Co-Chair

February 2006

WASHINGTON, February 15, 2006—The 13 member governors of the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) have selected Governor Ernie Fletcher of Kentucky as ARC states' co-chair for 2006.

"I am honored to represent the Commonwealth of Kentucky in my capacity as the states' co-chair for the Appalachian Regional Commission," said Fletcher. "I look forward to working with members of ARC in an effort to continue the fantastic work they do for the communities of Appalachia."

ARC Federal Co-Chair Anne B. Pope welcomed the selection of Fletcher.

"I am pleased that the governors of the 13 Appalachian states have elected Governor Fletcher as the new states' co-chair," said Pope. "As a leader in Kentucky, he has charted a forward-looking course through initiatives like the Prescription for Innovation, and I know firsthand that his commitment and unique vision will help ARC deliver the economic and community development tools needed to move the Region forward in 2006."

Piloted in six Appalachian counties in eastern Kentucky, Fletcher's Prescription for Innovation is a comprehensive broadband deployment and adoption plan that leverages state, federal, and private investment to blanket Kentucky with high-speed Internet access and encourages citizen use of computers and the Internet.

Fletcher has been an Air Force fighter pilot, engineer, family doctor, lay minister, state legislator, and United States congressman. He was born in Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, and is a longtime resident of Lexington. He received his B.S. degree from the University of Kentucky College of Engineering in 1974 and graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine.

Fletcher's legislative career began in 1995, when he was elected state representative of Kentucky's 78th District. As representative, he served on the Kentucky Commission on Poverty and the Task Force on Higher Education. In 1998, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives from Kentucky's Sixth Congressional District. He served as a member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and was selected to chair the Policy Committee's Subcommittee on Health. He was elected governor of Kentucky in November 2003.