Second-highest number of incumbents in contested state legislative primaries in Kentucky since 2014

Twenty-six Kentucky state legislative incumbents face primary challenges this year, representing 26% of all incumbents running for re-election. This is the second-highest number and percentage of contested incumbents since 2014. 

Of the 26 incumbents in contested primaries, six are Democrats and 20 are Republicans.

Kentucky has 44 contested state legislative primaries this year, a 23% decrease from 2022.

Of the 44 contested primaries, there are 16 for Democrats and 28 for Republicans. For Democrats, this is one more than in 2022. For Republicans, the number is down 33% from 42 in 2022.

Overall, 228 major party candidates — 91 Democrats and 137 Republicans — filed to run. All 100 House and 19 of 38 Senate seats are up for election.

Seventeen of those seats are open, meaning no incumbents filed. This guarantees that at least 14% of seats up for election will be represented by newcomers next year.

Kentucky has had a divided government since Democrats won control of the governorship in 2019. Republicans currently have a 78-20 (with two vacancies) majority in the House and a 31-7 majority in the Senate.

Kentucky’s state legislative primaries are scheduled for May 21, the seventh statewide primary date of the 2024 state legislative election cycle.

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