Kentucky Political News Headlines

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

2010 Primary Election Re-Cap

Below is a brief recap of Tuesday's Primary Elections. You can download results for State House & Senate races as well as a breakdown we did on all of the races prior to the primary HERE
Congressional Races

In the open U.S. Senate Seat, the Republicans selected Rand Paul to be their nominee and the Democrats selected Jack Conway. Here is an article that summarizes this race Courier-Journal

In the 6th Congressional District, the Republicans chose Andy Barr to be their nominee to face off against Congressman Ben Chandler in November.  Here is an article that recaps this race Lexington Herald-Leader

In the 3rd Congressional District, the Republicans chose Todd Lally to challenge Congressman John Yarmuth in the Fall. Here is an article that summarizes this race  Courier-Journal

State Senate

Six incumbent state Senators had primary opposition today and all six won their primary elections. Although every race has its own dynamics sometimes there are state or national themes that can play a role to varying degrees in these races. The three themes that many thought might be at play in these races were anti-incumbent sentiment, the Tea Party movement, and the issue of expanded gambling.

Anti-incumbent sentiment seems to be running high in politics at all levels this election year, yet all of these incumbent state senators won tonight. All of them won by nearly 70% or more of the vote with the exception of Sen. Buford who narrowly won by 700 votes. At least for this primary election the anti-incumbent sentiment didn't seem to play a role, but the general election may be another ball game.

The Tea Party movement has been well documented due to Rand Paul's candidacy. It may be the reason that several of these candidates decided to run for office in the first place. However, it did not seem to be a huge factor in these State Senate Races.

The issue of expanded gambling was an issue in a couple of these State Senate races. In the 12th district Sen. Kerr opposed expanded gaming in the Senate and her primary opponent was a Republican in favor of expanded gaming. Sen. Kerr won with 71% of the vote. In Sen. Buford's case, he supported expanded gaming during a special session last summer and his opponent was supported by conservative anti-gaming interests. Sen. Buford won his primary, but it was the closest of the state Senate primary races. This issue will continue to be an issue in Kentucky elections this Fall as well.

There are two open seats for the State Senate, to replace the retiring Senators Tapp (R) and Worley (D) and the voters chose their nominees to run for these seats in the Fall. In the 20th district to replace Tapp, Democrats chose David Eaton, former Shelbyville mayor, and Republicans chose Paul Hornback, a farmer that has been endorsed by Tapp. In the 34th district to replace Worley, Democrats chose Lee Murphy, who received Worley's endorsement and owns a local technology company, and Republicans chose Jared Carpenter, who is a local banker. 

State House

Fourteen incumbent State Representatives had a primary election today, five Republicans and nine Democrats. Twelve of the Fourteen incumbents won their primary elections, two were defeated Rep. Charlie Siler (R) & Rep. Ancel Smith (D).

Rep. Siler (R) appears to have been beaten by challenger Dewayne Bunch by 123 votes. This was the third race between these two, Siler won in 2006 by 3000 votes and in 2008 by a much narrower 600 votes. Rep. Ancel Smith appears to have been beaten by John Short in the Democrat primary by less than 600 votes. Ruby Couch the Republican will face John Short in the Fall.

In terms of very brief analysis it appears that there was not a huge anti-incumbent sweep in state House races for this primary election. Its hard to know what factors may have been at play in these races at this point, but we will look to bring you that information in the days ahead.