Kentucky Political News Headlines

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

KY Primary Election Results from Government Strategies


KENTUCKY PRIMARY ELECTION RESULTS

Kentuckians went to the polls today for the 2022 primary elections to determine party nominees for the general election in November. While most incumbents won their primary elections handily this evening, some did succumb to the political rhetoric levied by their opponents and the outside groups that stormed Kentucky these past few weeks with political ads in mailboxes and on the airwaves.

 

This primary season was marked by the strong emergence of so-called "liberty caucus" candidates. These candidates were especially strong in more urban areas, marking a notable change in the activist base in the Republican party with many primary elections focusing on very right-leaning issues.

 

Northern Kentucky especially saw a rise in the liberty caucus candidates, and several prominent House Republican incumbents fell to their far-right opponents. Judiciary Chairman Ed Massey, Licensing & Occupations Chairman Adam Koenig, and Budget Review Subcommittee on Transportation Committee Chairman Sal Santoro could not overcome their primary challengers. In total 6 incumbents lost their election bids: 5 GOP members (Koenig, Santoro, Massey, Bechler, Kirk-McCormick) and 1 Democrat member (Burch).

 

With several prominent House chairmen losing their primary elections or retiring from the body there will be many new faces leading key committees, including: State Government, Licensing & Occupations, Banking & Insurance, Budget Review on Transportation, and Judiciary.

 

There were no upsets among Senate incumbents, as Senator Donald Douglas defeated his opponent in the 22nd Senate District which was expected to be a close race.  Former state senator, Gex Williams, won a crowded Republican primary in the 20th Senate district and will face Teresa Barton in November.

 

The main Congressional seat in question was that of retiring Chairman John Yarmuth, whose sudden retirement quickly opened the door for State Senate Minority Floor Leader Morgan McGarvey. McGarvey faced off against State Representative Attica Scott, who had announced for the seat before Yarmuth's retirement. McGarvey won the race by a wide margin and will likely be the favorite in the General Election this fall.

 

Last week we previewed some of the most competitive state House and Senate races, and we've outlined the results of those races below.

 

House Races (All House primary winners can be viewed in this spreadsheet in bold*)

*Results for House District 41 and House District 43 were still outstanding at this writing.

 

- District 1: Republican House Majority Floor Leader Steven Rudy, a farm store owner from Paducah, handily won his race against Christopher Tucker, a farmer from Clinton.

- District 12: Representative Jim Gooch, an insurance agent and the current House Natural Resources & Energy Committee chairman from Providence, emerged victorious against Representative Lynn Bechler, a retiree from Marion in the Republican primary. Their individual districts were combined during redistricting this year – one of four races that pit incumbents against each other.

- District 18: Representative Samara Heavrin, one of the youngest members of the House majority and a small business owner, held off a challenge from Jacob Clark, a minister from Leitchfield, in the Republican primary. This was considered one of the most competitive primary races.

- District 24: House Appropriations and Revenue Vice Chairman Brandon Reed beat his challenger Courtney Gilbert of Hodgenville, who is a music teacher. Notably, Gilbert is the sister of State Senator Adrienne Southworth, considered one of the most far-right state senators in office.

- District 30: Longtime Louisville Democratic Representative Tom Burch, a retiree who has served in the House nearly continuously since 1972, could not overcome a strong challenge from Daniel Grossberg, an entrepreneur.

- District 59: Republican Speaker of the House David Osborne, a business owner, easily won his primary against Bridgette Ehly, a homemaker.

- District 60: Representative Sal Santoro of Union, a small business owner, lost his Republican nomination to fellow Union resident, former speech pathologist Marianne Proctor.

- District 66: Representative Ed Massey of Hebron, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, was unseated by Steve Rawlings, an attorney from Burlington in the Republican primary.

- District 69: Representative Adam Koenig of Erlanger, the chairman of the House Licensing and Occupations Committee, lost in his challenge from Steven Doan, an attorney also from Erlanger, in the Republican primary. Doan was endorsed by Republican Congressman Thomas Massie. This was the most competitive House primary race this May.

- District 97: Sitting Republican Representative Bobby McCool, a retired teacher from Van Lear, beat out Rep. Norma Kirk-McCormick, a retiree from Inez, for the newly drawn District 97 that paired two incumbents against each other.


Senate Races (All Senate primary winners can be viewed in this spreadsheet in bold)


- District 22: Senator Donald Douglas of Nicholasville, a physician, faced a tough challenge from Andrew Cooperrider, a business owner from Lexington, in the Republican primary. Congressman Massie endorsed Cooperrider over incumbent Douglas, who made waves early in the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns by refusing to close down his business or enforce health mandates.

- District 34: Senate Banking & Insurance Chairman Jared Carpenter, a builder and farmer from Berea, easily bested his challenger from the right, Rhonda Goode, a fitness instructor from Richmond.

 

Two open seats had several primary candidates, and the winner of these will each face a Democratic challenger in the fall:

- District 20: Gex Williams, a business consultant and former state senator, emerged victorious in the four-way primary for this open seat. Gex Williams is considered one of the liberty caucus candidates.

- District 24: Shelley Funke Frommeyer, a financial planner, won the three-way primary for the seat formerly held by Senate Economic Development Chairman Wil Schroder, who retired this year.

 

Please note that these are still considered unofficial, incomplete results until certified by the Secretary of State's office. For exact numbers on each race, please visit the Kentucky Secretary of State's website for official results.

 

Please don't hesitate to reach out to us with questions and stay tuned for our upcoming 2022 Interim Preview.


Thursday, April 14, 2022

2022 KY Session Ajourns



Sine Die Adjournment
The 2022 Session of the Kentucky General Assembly came to a close this evening shortly after 6pm when the House and Senate adjourned sine die. Before they adjourned the legislature gave final passage to several bills, including:

HB 604 - HB 1 - Budget clean up
HB 659 - HB 8 - tax and revenue clean up 
HB 573 - Addressing health care workers
HB 490 - Transportation/Road Project clean up
HB 92 - Opioid abatement settlement funding formula
SB 90 - Criminal diversion for low level offenders 
SB 163 - KEES scholarships for felons
HB 44 - Student mental health that contains SB 1 fix
SB 178 - Alcohol and drug counselors that contains KEHP pharmacy database and postpartum Medicaid coverage
SB 167 - Override of Governor's veto on library board governance
SB 180 - Merging the Labor & Education and Workforce Cabinets

As in all sessions many bills don't make it across the finish line for passage and here are a few of the more notable bills not considered in the session's final days:

HB 606 - Sports wagering
HB 608 - Outlawing illegal gambling machines
HB 475 - Constitutional amendment on local government tax reform

The legislature will stand in adjournment until January 3, 2023 unless called into special session by the Governor. We expect the Interim Joint Committees to begin meeting in June. 

We will have a final session report out to you this weekend.

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

KY Legislative Update - Day 59



And Then There Was One

The General Assembly ended Day 59 just after 10pm on Wednesday after a busy day that saw a significant amount of floor action. When all was said and done the House and Senate overrode gubernatorial vetoes on 29 bills in full and 21 budget line-item vetoes. They also took action on half a dozen concurrences, appointment and reports of several conference committees, and positioned several bills for committee action on Thursday. 


Heading into the day there were a few outstanding items needing action and all still need action on the session's final day to make it to the Governor's desk, including:

House Bill 475 (Local tax reform)

House Bill 608 (Gray machines)

House Bill 659 (Historic tax credits; potential vehicle for tax fixes)

Senate Bill 163 (Expanding KEES access)

Senate Bill 90 (Criminal Diversion) 

House HB 490 (Counterfeit Airbags; potential vehicle for road project fixes)

House Bill 44 (Mental Health in Schools; potential for SB 1 fix) 


We expect several committees to meet on the session's final day, including Senate Appropriations & Revenue, Senate Transportation & Senate Judiciary.


The General Assembly gavels back in for the final day of the 2022 Session on Thursday when they will adjourn Sine Die before midnight. The Senate and House will convene at 10am.


You can watch the proceedings of the final day of the Kentucky General Assembly live on KET at ket.org/legislature.


We will send an update tomorrow evening upon Sine Die adjournment and a final session report this weekend.


Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Session Update - Day 58


Day 58 of the 60-day Legislative Session came to an end at approximately 11pm this evening, starting the veto recess that will last until the General Assembly reconvenes on April 13 & 14 to consider any gubernatorial vetoes--of which there may be several--and wrap up unfinished business. Before adjourning this evening, the General Assembly did bring several pieces of major legislation to final passage, including:

 

House Bill 1 - The state's executive branch budget

House Bill 7 - Public Assistance Reform

House Bill 274 - Transportation Improvement Districts

House Bill 315 - Broadband Infrastructure

House Bill 499 - Employee Childcare Assistance Partnership

House Bill 607 - Pari-mutuel wagering

House Bill 745 - Product Development Initiative

 

The General Assembly will return on April 13 at 11am ET (Senate) and 12pm ET (House) for the 59th day of session.     

 

If you have any questions regarding this legislation or any other bills, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. A more in-depth report of this week's actions will be distributed this weekend.


Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Session Update – Day 57




Session Update – Day 57

Today, on day 57 of 60 of the 2022 Session, the legislative activity in Frankfort was high as the budget conference committee met to finalize the next biennial budget, the tax reform plan was unveiled, and several committees passed last-minute bills. Legislators are under a time crunch as they must pass bills by midnight tomorrow to maintain their ability to override gubernatorial vetoes.

 

Budget Update

The House Bill 1 Conference Committee has finalized the state's executive branch budget and outlined some points during a final public meeting today. You can find the final House Bill 1 budget language here. We have also attached a document highlighting some of the components of HB1.

    

The legislature did send to the Governor the biennial transportation budget, House Bill 241, as well as its companion bill in the biennial road plan, House Bill 242, that outlines road projects for the next two years.

 

Tax Reform

The Senate also approved changes to House Bill 8, the tax reform bill. These changes were agreed to by members of the HB 1 Conference Committee as they negotiated the budget. This version removed a few services from the initial House version, including financial planning services, marina usage, and advertising. The Senate version also changed the income tax reduction and amended the triggers that would reduce the income tax. There is no mandatory reduction, but an assessment will be made in September 2022 and if the financial conditions of the Commonwealth meet the new triggers outlined in the bill, then a 0.5 percent reduction could occur in January 2023. The tax rebate proposed earlier this session by the Senate, Senate Bill 194 was not included in the final agreement.


Bill Awaiting Action

House Bill 7 (Public Assistance Reform)

House Bill 8 (Tax Reform)

House Bill 274 (Transportation Improvement Districts)

House Bill 315 (Broadband)

House Bill 499 (Employer Childcare Assistance Partnership)

House Bill 607 (Pari-mutuel wagering)

House Bill 608 (Gray machines)

House Bill 745 (Product Development Initiative Program)

 

The House and Senate will convene at 10am ET. The proceedings can be watched live on ket.org/legislature.

 

We will continue to update you on the happenings of these last days of the 2022 Session, including providing the final version of the state budget when it becomes available. Please do not hesitate to reach out with questions.