10 Kens Who Have Held Public Office


Ken Dryden

Ken Dryden

Continuing our series of Kens, we turn our attention to public office.  NOTE:  this is not specific to the U.S. and is just a sampling as you might imagine, there are tons of Kens that have been voted into various public positions.  I doubt you will ever see me attempt to run for an office (even locally in the Houston area), but never say never…  In the meantime, here are a few of the men named Ken you may have voted for:

  1. Ken Dryden -Not only is Ken Dryden a proud member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, a lawyer, author and businessman, but he is also an officer of the Order of Canada and held a seat as a Liberal Member of Parliament from 2004 to 2011. One of only two players to have his number retired by Cornell’s hockey team, Dryden earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from the prestigious school.
  2. Kenneth MacAlpin -The king of the Picts and perhaps the first king of Scots, Kenneth MacAlpin established a line of kings that ruled over Scotland for most of the medieval period. Fact and myth surrounding the infamous king have blended such over the centuries that it can be difficult to determine how much of his legacy is deserved.
  3. Kenneth Baker -Kenneth Wildfred Baker, Baron Baker of Dorking is a Life Member of the Tory Reform Group and a former Conservative MP from Newport, Monmouthshire. He also acted as Minister for Information Technology, Secretary of State for the Environment and Secretary of State for Education.
  4. Ken Morrish -Serving as councilor, deputy Metro Toronto Chair and Mayor of Scarborough, Ken Morrish was a descendant of the original pioneer settlers in Scarborough, Ontario. Regarded as a legend in the area, Mr. Morrish passed away due to complications from a stroke in 2006.
  5. Ken Bennett -A prominent Arizona Republican, Ken Bennett has served as president of the Arizona Senate and assumed office as the Secretary of State in Arizona in 2009. Bennett formed an exploratory committee to run for Governor of Arizona in May of 2012 and became acting governor in December of 2012 when the current governor embarked upon an unannounced trip to Afghanistan.
  6. Ken Clarke -One of the most well-known politicians in Britain, Ken Clarke has served as a Member of Parliament for Rushcliffe, a Minister without Portfolio, in the Cabinet as Education Secretary, Health Secretary, Justice Secretary, home Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer.
  7. Ken Livingstone -A British Labour Party politician, Ken Livingstone was the first elected Mayor of London when the office was created in 2000. He’s also served as the MP for Brent East and is a democratic socialist.
  8. Ken Salazar -The current United States Secretary of the Interior under President Barack Obama’s administration, Ken Salazar was also a United States Senator from Colorado from 2005 to 2009 and the former Attorney General of Colorado.
  9. Kenneth Keating -Serving as a United States Representative, a United States Senator from New York, an appellate judge and a diplomat representing the United States as ambassador to both India and Israel, Ken Keating was a moderate New York Republican who refused to endorse his party’s 1964 presidential nominee, Senator Barry Goldwater, who was widely regarded as too extreme by New Yorkers.
  10. Ken Blackwell -A political activist who has served as the mayor of Cincinnati, Ohio and the Ohio Secretary of State, John Kenneth “Ken” Blackwell was the first African-American to be a candidate for governor of a major political party in the state of Ohio.

Whether it’s a Welsh name meaning “clear water,” an English one meaning “handsome” or a Japanese name that carries “royal obligation,” there’s no doubting that the name Ken and all of its variants is a common one among leaders from various walks of life. These Kens are all part of a great tradition of leadership and public service.

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