Bluegrass battles – Kentucky voters to determine state’s triplex status

The Daily Brew

Welcome to the Friday, Oct. 25, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Cameron, Stumbo face off in Kentucky attorney general race
  2. Washington voters to decide highest number of statewide ballot measures in more than two decades
  3. What’s the Tea?

Cameron, Stumbo face off in Kentucky attorney general race

Kentucky voters will choose a new attorney general Nov. 5, with Daniel Cameron (R) and Gregory Stumbo (D) vying for the office. 

Democrats have controlled the AG office in Kentucky since 1952. The state’s election history suggests this year’s contest will be competitive.

The AG position is open, as incumbent Andy Beshear is the Democratic nominee challenging incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin (R) in the gubernatorial race.

The 2015 attorney general race was decided by a margin of 0.2 percentage points—50.1% to 49.9%. Beshear defeated Whitney Westerfield (R) by 2,194 votes. In the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump (R) won Kentucky with 62.5% of the vote. Trump endorsed Cameron on July 29, 2019.

The race has attracted at least $5.75 million in spending from satellite groups—$3.25 million from the Republican Attorneys General Association supporting Cameron, and $2.5 million from the Democratic Attorneys General Association supporting Stumbo.

The attorney general election is occurring alongside Kentucky’s gubernatorial and secretary of state elections, meaning either party could gain triplex control in 2019. Kentucky is one of nine states where the governor and the attorney general are not from the same party, creating divided triplex control among Kentucky’s executives.

Washington voters to decide highest number of statewide ballot measures in more than two decades

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ll be highlighting some of the Nov. 5 elections we’re covering nationwide, as well as information on early voting and absentee voting deadlines.

The following is a list of elections taking place in Washington Nov. 5th: (note: this isn’t a comprehensive list of all local elections). 

  • Fifteen statewide ballot measures

  • Two state legislative elections

    • Washington State Senate District 40

    • Washington House of Representatives District 13-Position 2

  • Three seats on the Washington Court of Appeals

  • Four King County commissioners races

  • Seven seats on the Seattle City Council

  • Four board seats for Seattle Public Schools

  • King County Proposition 1, related to property taxes

Since Washington is a vote-by-mail state, ballots were mailed on Oct. 18 and Accessible Voting Units (AVUs) are available at voting centers. Voting will last through 8:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on Nov. 5.

Ballot measures

The fifteen statewide measures on the ballot Nov. 5 are the most since 1995. Here’s a quick rundown of three measures facing voters.

  • Initiative 976 would limit annual registration renewal fees to $30 for vehicles under 10,000 pounds and enact other restrictions on vehicle taxes and fees. 

  • Referendum 88 would allow the state to implement affirmative action policies without the use of preferential treatment or quotas in public employment, education, and contracting.

  • Senate Joint Resolution 8200 would authorize the legislature to pass laws to keep the government running during catastrophic events.

The other 12 measures are mandatory, non-binding advisory questions on bills passed in 2019 that increased tax revenue. The advisory vote measures were automatically referred to the ballot as required under Initiative 960, an initiative sponsored by Tim Eyman that was passed in 2007. I-960 requires an advisory vote to be referred to voters concerning any law passed by the legislature that creates or increases taxes or fees.


The Seattle City Council elections are occurring a year after the repeal of the 2018 head tax proposal, which would have required businesses grossing at least $20 million to pay $275 per employee in order to fund affordable housing programs for the homeless. The city council voted to pass the head tax 9-0 in May 2018 but then repealed it by a 7-2 vote in June 2018. Of the three incumbents running for re-election, Kshama Sawant in District 3 voted against repealing the tax, while District 1’s Lisa Herbold and District 5’s Debora Juarez voted to repeal the tax. The races have seen $2.6 million in satellite spending. The Seattle Chamber of Commerce opposes the head tax, and its political action committee—Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy (CASE)— has spent around $1 million. Seattle-based Amazon has become involved in the elections, too, giving CASE $1.45 million. 

What's the tea?

We’re continuing to survey Brew readers on whether they’ve ever participated in or done certain things related to politics and policy—such as attending or speaking at governmental meetings or signing candidate or initiative petitions. We appreciate all your responses!

Here’s this week’s question: Have you ever participated during a school board meeting? This could mean either asking a question or presenting your opinion during the part of the meeting where they seek input from attendees.