Longtime Ky. Senator Tom Buford dies at 72

The Senate Majority Office announced the death of Republican State Senator Tom Buford of...
The Senate Majority Office announced the death of Republican State Senator Tom Buford of Nicholasville.(Kentucky General Assembly)
Published: Jul. 6, 2021 at 4:57 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A Kentucky lawmaker who served more than three decades in Frankfort has died.

State Senator Tom Buford of Nicholasville passed away at 72 years old. He had been in the state Senate since 1991, and represented the 22nd district covering Garrard, Jessamine, Mercer, Washington and part of Fayette Counties.

Senator Buford is being remembered for his dedication to the communities he served, and ability to work across the aisle for the good of Kentucky.

“It just felt like a gut punch,” Rep. Matt Lockett said.

Buford’s passing is leaving a community without a dedicated servant of 30 years.

“I had just talked to him last week and he was upbeat. He was his normal self,” Lockett said.

A man friends and colleagues have described as witty, a leader, and leaves a lasting legacy in the 22nd district.

“Somebody that knew Tom, they would tell you that he cared about the people in his district. He cared about them not just from a legislative standpoint, but just personally, he wanted to be there for people. He’d do anything in the world for you,” Lockett said.

In his time in Frankfort, his district has grown in many ways, a testament to his work of seeing the 22nd district succeed.

“You think about 30 years ago what this area looked like. Not just economic growth, housing growth. You know Jessamine County in his 30 years of being in the senate has really transformed into one of the fastest growing counties in the state,” Lockett said.

Those who knew the Republican senator say he will also be remembered for working across the aisle on issues, saying to him it wasn’t about party, it was about the people and the issues.

“I think Tom did a very good job of that. He was always one to look at an issue for what it was, not necessarily for which party was pushing it, but for what he believed was best for the district,” Lockett said.

They say he fought for the people he represented and the state he loved.

“He will not be forgotten anytime soon for sure,” Lockett said.

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