2018 Primary Election Results
Kentucky voters went to the polls today to determine party nominees for the General Election in November. There were 51 state legislative primary races with 19 incumbents facing primary challenges. Based on unofficial results, we have provided this spreadsheet, with House & Senate primary tabs, showing the outcome of tonight's elections. In addition, we want to highlight a few key races:
- Anti-Incumbent sentiment hit the State House with 4 incumbent State Representatives losing their primary election. Horlander (D-Louisville), Shell (R-Lancaster), Morgan (R-Richmond), and Couch (R-Hyden).
- The surprise of the evening was the defeat of House Majority Floor Leader Jonathan Shell losing by 115 votes to high school teacher Travis Brenda. It appears this race was the focal point of advocacy for the teacher's unions, who are upset with the pension reform legislation that the legislature passed during this most recent session.
- The anti-incumbent bug didn't seem to hit the State Senate, where all 5 incumbent State Senators with primary races won.
- Two former State Representatives won primary elections tonight, Democrat Cluster Howard in the 91st and Bill Farmer in the 88th. Both will have opponents in the General Election.
- There were several congressional primary elections as well, but most attention was on the 6th Congressional district. Incumbent Andy Barr (R-Lexington) successfully won his primary. The focus, however, was on the Democratic primary to determine his challenger in November. Lexington Mayor Jim Gray ran against political newcomer and former Marine pilot, Amy McGrath. Gray was thought to be the frontrunner, however, McGrath defeated Gray in a 6-way primary garnering 49% of the vote. The Barr-McGrath race will likely draw national attention as Democrats see this as a place to possibly pick up a seat, but Barr will be well financed with a campaign fund of over $2 million.
We will have more analysis in the days ahead.