Jim DeCesare

Tuesday is Election Day in Kentucky

May 22, 2018

Kentuckians will make their way to the polls on Tuesday to vote in races up and down the ballot from the federal to local level.  Turnout is expected to be on par with the 2010 and 2014 mid-term elections.

About 32 percent of registered voters cast ballots in Kentucky’s 2010 mid-term election and 27 percent in the 2014 mid-terms.  This year, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is predicting turnout around 30 percent.  Her office tracks absentee ballot totals as an indicator of turnout on election day.  Grimes says she hopes this year’s primary bucks a recent trend of dismal participation rates.

"My hope is that folks realize that our elections should be determined by a majority of our electorate and not a minority, which is what we have had in the past," Grimes told WKU Public Radio.

LRC Public Information

The Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission voted to dismiss ethics charges brought against three Republican state representatives, saying there wasn’t enough evidence to show that the men broke ethics rules by secretly signing a sexual harassment settlement with a former staffer.

But the commission did not dismiss a complaint filed against former House Speaker Jeff Hoover, who also signed the settlement.

LRC Public Information

A hearing in Frankfort Tuesday will determine if four Kentucky lawmakers committed ethics violations when they privately settled sexual harassment allegations last fall. 

The Legislative Ethics Commission will consider a complaint brought by a Democratic lawmaker against four Republican state representatives.  Former House Speaker Jeff Hoover from Jamestown, Jim DeCesare of Rockfield, Michael Meredith of Oakland, and Brian Linder from Dry Ridge gave an undisclosed amount of money to a female legislative staffer to settle allegations of sexual harassment. 

Hearing Set for Kentucky Lawmakers Accused of Harassment

Mar 5, 2018
LRC Public Information

An ethics commission in Kentucky has scheduled a hearing for four Republican lawmakers who signed a secret sexual harassment settlement.

The Legislative Ethics Commission will meet April 3 at 9 a.m. The hearing is the result of an ethics complaint filed by a Democratic lawmaker against former House Speaker Jeff Hoover and GOP Reps. Jim DeCesare, Michael Meredith and Brian Linder.

Mike Wilson

Another candidate has joined the race for State Representative Jim DeCesare’s seat in the Kentucky House of Representatives. 

Mike Wilson of Bowling Green has filed to run for the 17th District seat that represents Butler and part of Warren County.  The seat opened up after DeCesare announced he wouldn’t seek re-election this year. 

Wilson is a Republican and works as Director of Facilities for Warren County Public Schools.

J. Tyler Franklin, WFPL

The sexual harassment investigation involving two state lawmakers from south central Kentucky is leading to plenty of interest in their seats. 

Four candidates have launched bids to replace embattled Republican State Representatives Jim DeCesare and Michael Meredith.

According to the Secretary of State’s office, two Republicans have filed to run for the seat belonging to DeCesare.  The 17th District House seat covers Butler and a portion of Warren County.

LRC Public Information

A Kentucky lawmaker who signed a secret sexual harassment settlement along with three fellow Republican legislators said Friday that he won't seek re-election in 2018.

According to the Bowling Green Daily News , Rep. Jim DeCesare of Bowling Green didn't mention the settlement in his announcement and didn't return the newspaper's phone calls about the decision Friday.

J. Tyler Franklin

Republican leaders in the state House of Representatives have hired a law firm to look into sexual harassment allegations against multiple GOP members.

The scandal has already led to the resignation of former House Speaker Jeff Hoover.

In a statement released Tuesday afternoon, Speaker Pro Tem David Osborne said that “new information regarding this unfolding situation has emerged today.”

Thinkstock

The FBI has confirmed it is looking into sexual harassment in the Kentucky state legislature. The news comes a day after House Speaker Jeff Hoover admitted to exchanging inappropriate text messages with a female staffer and resigned from his leadership position.

Three Republican lawmakers have been implicated in the scandal and removed from their committee chairmanships.

David Habich, a spokesman for the FBI office in Louisville confirmed the agency is reviewing the allegations.

J. Tyler Franklin

Gov. Matt Bevin is calling for the immediate resignation of all elected officials and staff who have been involved in settling or hiding sexual harassment allegations.

The announcement came in a quickly-organized news conference Saturday afternoon amid allegations that House Speaker Jeff Hoover and several Republican leaders in the chamber had secretly settled sexual harassment claims.

Bevin called for the immediate resignation of  “every individual who has settled a sexual harassment case” and state employees “party to trying to hide this type of behavior.”

Flickr/Creative Commons/Adam Theo

A growing movement to amend the U.S. Constitution is making its way to Kentucky.  A group called Convention of States will be in Frankfort Tuesday to lobby members of the General Assembly. 

State Representative Jim DeCesare has filed a resolution on the group’s behalf that calls for a national convention under Article 5 of the Constitution. 

The Warren County Republican says the resolution calls for two amendments.  One would require federal budgets to be balanced, and the other would give states sovereignty from federal mandates.

LRC Public Information

South-central Kentucky lawmakers are again pushing the state to provide matching funds for a veterans nursing home in Warren County.

A bi-partisan group of legislators from southern Kentucky tried and failed to get $10.5 million in state support during this year’s General Assembly. The federal government has pledged to kick in between $20 million and $30 million if Kentucky lawmakers provide money for the effort.

Warren County Republican Rep. Jim DeCesare is co-sponsoring a bill for next year’s legislature. He says a lot of pieces are already in place to make the veterans nursing home a reality.

"The property has been donated, the veterans groups have met with the folks in Washington D.C., they've met with the folks in Frankfort. So they've got broad support from not only the state entities, but also the federal entities."

A Butler County state Representative says he's strongly considering a run for a Senate seat following today's signing of new redistricting maps. The newly drawn boundaries place Morgantown Republican C.B. Embry, Jr., in the same district as Warren County Republican Jim DeCesare.

Embry gave his reaction to WKU Public Radio earlier Friday afternoon.

"Now I'm not fixing to announce or anything, but I'm leaning toward running for the sixth Senatorial district next year. That would be Butler, Ohio, Muhlenberg, and Hopkins counties," said Embry.

The sixth Kentucky Senate district is currently represented by Madisonville Democrat Jerry Rhoads. Embry admits it would be a tough challenge to take on Rhoads, given that the voter registration in the sixth Senate district is majority Democratic.

Warren County Representative Jim DeCesare told WKU Public Radio today that he plans to run for the 17th District House seat.

Kentucky LRC

A Warren County lawmaker says he's waiting until new legislative maps are drawn before he makes any decisions about his future.

Republican Representative Jim DeCesare could be placed in a tough spot when lawmakers pass a redistricting plan at the end of the special session that began Monday in Frankfort.

A Democratic proposal would put DeCesare in the same district as fellow House Republican C.B. Embry, Junior, of Morgantown. DeCesare tells WKU Public Radio that he's not ready to decide whether or not he would seek re-election under those circumstances.

"Once there's final passage on a piece of legislation, I'll look at it and see where I need to go from there,” said the Rockfield Republican.

Redistricting maps released Friday afternoon in Frankfort by Kentucky House leaders would place an equal number of Democratic and Republican incumbents in the same districts.

The Democratic proposal would put Republicans Jim DeCesare of Warren County and C.B. Embry, Jr., of Butler County in the same district.

Embry told WKU Public Radio he and DeCesare are prepared for that possibility.

"He's one of my closest friends in the House, and we talk often," said the Morgantown Republican. "We've discussed this many times, and we will continue to talk over the coming week."

Both Embry and DeCesare have previously said they will wait until the new redistricting maps are passed and signed into law by Governor Beshear before they commit to any future election plans.

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