FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Amanda Stamper, the innovative communications director who made Facebook and Twitter the primary means for Gov. Matt Bevin to speak to constituents, has resigned to return to the private sector.
“Serving in the Bevin administration has been a true honor and the highlight of my career,” Stamper said in a statement Wednesday, her last day on the job. “The decision to step aside wasn’t easy, but one that I needed to make for my family. Gov. Bevin has assembled an incredibly talented team, and I will definitely miss working with them on a day-to-day basis.”
As Bevin’s communications director for the past two years, Stamper sometimes felt the angst of Capitol reporters who had historically served as the conduit previous governors used to pitch initiatives or programs to the public.
With Stamper, a graduate of the University of Kentucky’s integrated strategic communications program, leading the communications team, Bevin focused on social media while also reaching beyond the Capitol press corps to schedule interviews with print and broadcast journalists throughout the state.
“During her time with us, Amanda embodied servant leadership, consistently and unselfishly putting the needs of her team ahead of her own in order to help move Kentucky forward,” said Bevin Chief of Staff Blake Brickman. “We will miss her instincts, creativity and foresight, but wish her continued success as she begins this new chapter in her life.”
The communications director position, with its 24/7 demands, has traditionally been subject to high turnover. The past three Kentucky governors have had multiple people serving in the role.
Bevin has had a rocky relationship with some Capitol reporters since his election in 2015. He has been sharply critical of them at times. A Facebook video, in which he berated those reporters last year, received more than 1 million views.
“Don’t get outraged when I go around you and talk directly to people, because, the reality is, I’m going to keep doing it because people deserve the truth,” Bevin told the reporters while dressing them down in the video.
Bevin accused reporters of “blurring the line between reporting and editorializing.”
“You now have people writing in the news column things that no matter how you slice it, Zippy the Monkey could look at that and say that’s an opinion piece,” he said.
Bevin’s distrust of Capitol reporters fueled the push into social media as a primary communications platform.