Kentucky sees largest number of U.S. House candidates since at least 2014

Thirty-one candidates are running for Kentucky’s six U.S. House districts in 2022, including nine Democrats and 22 Republicans. This equals 5.2 candidates per district, the most candidates per district since 2014. The filing deadline for candidates running for state or federal office in Kentucky was Jan. 25, 2022.

Democrats currently represent one U.S. House district in Kentucky and Republicans represent five.

Here are some other highlights from this year’s filings:

  • This is the first election taking place with new district lines following the 2020 census. Kentucky was apportioned six districts, the same number it received after the 2010 census.
  • One district—the 3rd—is open with Rep. John Yarmuth (D) retiring from politics. Yarmuth first won election in 2006 after defeating Rep. Anne Northup (R). The 3rd District has not been open since 1994.
  • This is the first election cycle since 2016 featuring an open U.S. House district in Kentucky.
  • Eight of the 12 possible major party primaries (67%) are contested, more contested primaries than in 2020 and the same number as 2018. There will be three contested Democratic primaries and five contested Republican primaries.
  • Four of five incumbents running for re-election face primary challengers, the same number as 2020. All five incumbents are Republicans.
  • Every district will feature major party competition, meaning at least one Democrat and one Republican filed to run. Since 2014, only the 2016 election cycle saw uncontested general elections for U.S. House in Kentucky when two Republicans won without any Democratic opposition.
  • Nine candidates, two Democrats and seven Republicans, are running in the open 3rd district, more than any other.

Kentucky and four other states—Idaho, North Carolina, Oregon, and Pennsylvania—are holding primary elections on May 17.

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