Two special general elections were held February 25 for Districts 67 and 99 of the Kentucky House of Representatives. Party county executive committees chose the nominees and had until January 7, 2020, to file candidate nominating papers.
In the District 67 race, Rachel Roberts (D) defeated Mary Jo Wedding (R), receiving 64.2% of the 4,604 votes cast in the election. Wedding received 35.8% of the votes.
The seat became vacant when Dennis Keene (D) resigned on December 16, 2019, to take a job as the commissioner of the Department for Local Government in Gov. Andy Beshear’s (D) gubernatorial administration. Keene had represented District 67 since 2005. He was re-elected in 2018 with 60% of the vote.
Roberts will complete the remainder of Keene’s term, which ends January 1, 2021. She is running in the regular election for the seat in 2020 and is the only Democrat on the primary ballot on May 19. The general election is scheduled for November 3.
In the District 99 race, Richard White (R) defeated Bill Redwine (D), receiving 56% of the 8,481 votes cast in the election. White received 44% of the votes.
The seat became vacant when Rocky Adkins (D) resigned on December 10, 2019, to take a job as a senior adviser in Beshear’s gubernatorial administration. Adkins had represented District 99 since 1987. He was unopposed in 2018 and won re-election in 2016 with 66% of the vote.
White will serve out the remainder of Adkins’s term, which ends January 1, 2021. White is running in the regular election for the seat and will compete against Dennis Stafford in the Republican primary on May 19. The general election is scheduled for November 3.
Republicans have a 62-38 majority in the state House and a 29-9 majority in the state Senate. Kentucky has a divided government, and no political party holds a state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers. Andy Beshear (D) was elected to a first term as governor in 2019.
As of February, 33 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2020 in 15 states. Between 2011 and 2019, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.
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