Kentucky's state constitution was adopted in 1891. The governor is elected for a term of four years. The general assembly, or legislature, is bicameral, with a senate of 38 members and a house of representatives of 100 members. Kentucky is represented in the U.S. Congress by six representatives and two senators and has eight electoral votes. Paul Patton, a Democrat, was elected governor in 1995 and reelected in 1999, but Republican Ernie Fletcher won the governorship in 2003. In 2007 Fletcher lost his bid for reelection to Democrat Steve Beshear; Beshear was reelected in 2011.
Institutions of higher learning include the Univ. of Kentucky and Transylvania Univ., at Lexington; the Univ. of Louisville, at Louisville; Eastern Kentucky Univ., at Richmond; Murray State Univ., at Murray; Western Kentucky Univ., at Bowling Green; Kentucky Wesleyan College, at Owensboro; Union College, at Barbourville, Kentucky State Univ., at Frankfort; and Berea College, at Berea.