On January 29, Kentucky’s filing deadline will pass to run for one of the following seven offices: governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, agriculture commissioner, auditor, and treasurer. The primary is scheduled for May 21, and the general election is on November 5.
The governor and lieutenant governor will be elected on a joint ticket, but the other five offices are all elected individually. All seven offices carry four-year terms. Entering the 2019 election, the governor, lieutenant governor, agriculture commissioner, auditor, and treasurer positions are held by Republicans. The attorney general and secretary of state positions are held by Democrats Andy Beshear and Alison Lundergan Grimes, respectively.
Kentucky’s statewide filing deadline is the second to take place in the 2019 election cycle. The first was in Wisconsin on January 2, and the next statewide filing deadline is on March 1 in Mississippi. There are only three states (Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi) holding elections for a combined total of 23 state executive positions in 2019.
Kentucky is one of 22 Republican trifectas. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers.
The Kentucky state legislature is currently considering a constitutional amendment to change the election calendar for state executive offices. The amendment would first go before voters as a ballot measure in 2020, and if approved, it would move the election that would typically take place in 2027 to 2028 to align with the presidential election schedule. The 2023 election would be the last to take place in an odd-numbered year. As of 2019, Kentucky was one of five states that held their gubernatorial elections during odd-numbered years.