FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Former Kentucky Gov. Brereton C. Jones, a Republican-turned-Democrat who led efforts to improve health care and strengthen ethics laws during his only term three decades ago, has died, the county said Monday. Governor Andy Beshear.

Jones was a prominent horse breeder whose political career began in his native West Virginia, where he was elected to the House of Delegates as a Republican. He moved to Kentucky and switched parties, first winning election as lieutenant governor before running for and winning the state’s highest elected office.

He also survived two serious accidents while in office from 1991 to 1995: a helicopter crash and a fall from a horse. Both accidents left him seriously injured in the back.

“Governor. Jones was a dedicated leader and distinguished Thoroughbred owner who worked to strengthen Kentucky for our families,” Beshear said in a social media post Monday.

He said the family asked for privacy but more details would be shared at a later date.

The Jones administration was memorable for a well-intentioned but ultimately failed attempt to achieve universal health insurance.

He envisioned a system where coverage would be accessible and affordable to everyone in the state, regardless of their medical history. Instead, dozens of insurers abandoned Kentucky and the costs of individual coverage skyrocketed.

During his tenure as the state’s top elected official, Kentucky governors had to resign after serving one term. Jones pushed to change the state Constitution to allow elected officials across the state to run for re-election to a second term. When the amendment was passed, it exempted current officials like him.

Reflecting on his tenure shortly before leaving office in 1995, Jones said he liked the job.

“I hated the first year,” he told an interviewer. “The second year I tolerated it. The third year I liked it, and the fourth, well, I loved it. “Everything happens very quickly.”

After leaving the governorship, Jones returned to private life at Airdrie Stud, a horse farm in central Kentucky.

Jones jumped into Kentucky politics by winning the race for lieutenant governor in 1987. His campaign was largely self-funded with his personal wealth. He worked during his term as lieutenant governor and during his term as governor to recover the money.

In his 1991 run for governor, Jones promised to set a new ethical standard for the office. He also presented himself as someone above partisan politics. “I’m not a politician,” he liked to say, even though he had been elected to office in two states, two parties, and two branches of government.

Jones won in a landslide against Republican Larry Hopkins.

Once in office, Jones got the legislature to create an ethics commission for executive branch officials and employees. But despite his frequent speeches about ethics, it seemed to many that Jones had a blind spot when it came to his own finances and business dealings.

Also under Jones, the legislature enacted its own ethics law, with its own ethics commission, following an FBI investigation into a legislative bribery and influence-peddling scandal.

The main initiative of the Jones administration was access to health care and controlling the cost of health coverage. But the core of the initiative was ultimately an unfortunate experiment in universal health coverage.

Insurers were prohibited from taking a person’s health into account when setting rates. No one could be denied coverage as long as they paid the premiums. Insurance policies were expected to be standardized (thus, in theory, easier for consumers to compare) and a state board was created to regulate them.

The insurance companies refused to agree. Several companies pulled out of Kentucky. Premiums skyrocketed as competition all but disappeared. The initiative was later dismantled or repealed by legislators.