Special election candidates file for Kentucky State Senate seat

The candidate filing deadline for the special election in District 31 of the Kentucky State Senate passed on January 15. Darrell Pugh (D) and Phillip Wheeler (R) are competing in the general election on March 5.
The District 31 seat became vacant after Ray Jones (D) was elected to serve as judge executive in Pike County. Jones served as minority leader in the state Senate from 2015 to 2019. He had represented District 31 since 2001.
The Kentucky State Senate currently has 28 Republicans, nine Democrats, and one vacancy. Kentucky has a Republican trifecta. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers.
In 2019, 33 state legislative special elections have been scheduled or held in 14 states. Between 2011 and 2018, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.