Primary election 2022: Kentucky congressional districts
Just as they are every even-numbered year, all six of Kentucky’s congressional seats are on the ballot in 2022.
The borders of the districts have changed slightly since the last go-round, after the Republican-led legislature drew new political maps as part of the once-every-decade redistricting process.
Though Democrats have challenged the maps in court, a judge has ruled the primary elections will go forward under the new borders while the lawsuit plays out.
All but one of Kentucky’s delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives is running for reelection this year.
Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth of the 3rd Congressional District announced he will retire after the current term, leaving an open election for the Democratic-heavy Louisville seat.
All incumbents will face a challenger during the primary election except 1st District GOP Rep. Jamie Comer. He’ll face off in the general election against Democrat Jimmy Ausbrooks, who is also running unopposed.
Primary election day is Tuesday May 17, but after a slight expansion of voting access in recent years, voters can also cast ballots in-person on Thursday May 12, Friday May 13 and Saturday May 14.
You can find more information about your local polling places and check your registration at GoVoteKY.com.
Here are the congressional races on the ballot.
1st District, western Kentucky extending to Franklin County in central Kentucky
Jimmy Ausbrooks is a mental health counselor from Franklin in south central Kentucky. He ran for U.S. Senate in 2020 but withdrew late in the race, which was ultimately won by retired Marine pilot Amy McGrath. On his webpage, Ausbrooks says he wants to make sure every citizen has equal opportunities, create more mental health resources and structure an economy “that secures our family’s and our community’s needs.”
Jamie Comer has represented the 1st Congressional district since 2016. He previously served two four-year terms as Kentucky’s agriculture commissioner, and before that, he was a state representative from 2000 to 2012. Comer unsuccessfully ran for governor in 2015, losing the nomination to Matt Bevin by 83 votes. Comer is the ranking member on the House Oversight Committee and has been an outspoken ally of former President Donald Trump.
2nd District, western Kentucky, including Bowling Green, Owensboro and Elizabethtown
William Compton is a high school music teacher and a 28 year-old city commissioner in Plum Springs, a suburb of Bowling Green. Compton says working class people have been neglected by politicians and in a Ballotpedia survey, criticized incumbent GOP Rep. Brett Guthrie for voting against the American Rescue Plan Act. If elected, Compton says he wants to push for affordable health care, renewable energy and equality for everyone, regardless of race, gender and sexual orientation.
Hank Linderman is a musician, recording engineer and producer who lives in Bowling Green. In a campaign video, Linderman says the Democratic Party needs to reconnect with working people by pushing for unions, higher wages and better working conditions. He also says Democrats can connect with rural and small town America by propping up rural hospitals that stay open, legalizing cannabis and expanding rural broadband.
Brett Guthrie has been in Congress since 2009 and serves on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. In a statement announcing his reelection bid, he said Democrats are sending America down a path that we simply can’t afford or abide.”
“Kentucky values are being degraded, personal freedoms are under attack, and their reckless tax-and-spend policies are impacting Kentuckians at the gas pump and grocery store,” Guthrie said.
Guthrie voted against a recent measure that would curb insulin costs, saying he worried that it would impact diabetes research.
Brent Feher is a small business owner from Owensboro. On his website, Feher says he decided to get into politics after shutdowns early on in the coronavirus pandemic. He says GOP incumbent Rep. Brett Guthrie “has proven to not align with our beliefs nor care enough to voice concern or ask about them.”
Lee Watts is the self-proclaimed chaplain of the Kentucky Legislature. He hosts an online show called Patriot Point, and has been a participant in several rallies protesting restrictions throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
3rd district, Louisville area
Morgan McGarvey is an attorney from Louisville first elected to the Kentucky Senate in 2012. He announced his bid for Congress the same day that incumbent Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth announced he wouldn’t seek reelection to the seat. McGarvey has pushed for expanding gambling, sports betting and legalizing medical marijuana. He was a co-sponsor of this year’s bill allowing college athletes to profit off their name, image and likeness.
Attica Scott is a community organizer from Louisville first elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 2016, when she unseated a longtime conservative Democrat. Scott has pushed for bills to improve maternal health, ban no-knock warrants and prevent discrimination based on hairstyles. Scott has been a prominent voice in the racial justice movement. She was arrested during the 2020 protests in Louisville. All of the charges were dropped, and she sued LMPD over the incident.
Daniel Cobble defines himself as an inventor and problem solver who has been developing policies to fix the federal government.
Mike Craven is a former union representative who spent much of his career working in the Louisville auto industry. He ran unsuccessfully for the nomination in 2018 and 2020.
Justin Gregory will appear on the ballot, but has not actively campaigned for the seat.
Darien Barrios Moreno has worked as a computer science teacher at the high school and professional education levels. He is a Cuban-American and says he wants to push for Louisvillians to have more job opportunities and to fight against “indoctrination and the influence of socialism in schools.”
Rhonda Palazzo is a real estate agent and former stock broker who ran unsuccessfully for the seat in 2018 and 2020. On her website, Palazzo says she is against abortion access and wants to push for safe communities and “school choice” policies.
Gregory Puccetti is a retired U.S. Army colonel and retired Jefferson County Public Schools He earned a Ph.D. in education in 2016. Puccetti previously ran for Congress as an Independent, but is running as a Republican this year. According to a Ballotpedia survey, Puccetti says “The Democrat party has failed the country by sowing division and hatred among the citizens of this great country.” He says he wants to refocus the country’s priorities on limited government and personal freedom.
Stuart Ray is the founder and CEO of the Peregrine Company, a metals and trucking service. Ray was the chair of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission and served on the KFC Yum Center board. In an interview on WHAS, Ray said his experience as a businessman will help bring jobs to Louisville.
4th district, northern Kentucky, extending from Louisville’s eastern suburbs to Greenup County
Matthew Lehman is a northern Kentucky biotech executive. He was founder and CEO of Koligo Therapeutics, which focused on non-opioid treatments for pancreatitis. On his website, Lehman says he wants to grow access to addiction treatment, invest in green energy, keep guns out of schools and secure infrastructure projects like the Brent Spence Bridge fix and supports clean water.
Thomas Massie was first elected in 2012 and has become one of the most polarizing members of Congress. He was one of only six House members to vote against legislation targeting Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, saying it contained “language that could set the table for bringing spurious war crimes charges against American service members.” He posted a Christmas photo on social media showing his family brandishing guns, four days after a deadly school shooting in Michigan. And he has repeatedly proposed scrapping the U.S. Education Department. Former President Donald Trump called Massie a “third rate grandstander” after he voted against a coronavirus relief package.
Alyssa Dara McDowell is from Covington and best known for taking the stage at an election night event in 2019 to falsely claim that Incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin won reelection. She previously ran for office the state legislature and U.S. Senate.
George Foking Washington is a filmmaker from Independence. He has made several unusual Youtube videos about politics.
Claire Wirth is a real estate agent from Prospect who describes herself as “pro-life, pro-guns and pro-Constitution.” Wirth says Massie isn’t conservative enough and points to former President Trump’s criticism of Massie as a reason Republicans should vote for her.
5th District, eastern Kentucky, extending from Somerset to Pikeville to Ashland
Conor Halbleib is the only Democrat running for Kentucky’s 6th Congressional district. Halbleib is a third-year law student at the University of Louisville who wants to bring “decency back to the office.” He says health care should be a human right and creating good jobs.
Hal Rogers is the longest-serving member of Congress, representing the eastern Kentucky Congressional district for 42 years. The 84 year-old has been on the powerful House Appropriations Committee for 40 years, where he has helped send billions of dollars to his home region, which remains one of the poorest areas of the country.
Jeanette Andrews will appear on the ballot, but has not actively campaigned for the seat.
Brandon Monhollen is a construction contractor and Army veteran from London. In a December video, Monhollen says he wants “true change” in Washington and says “regular people” need to get elected.
Gerardo Serrano has run for Congress three times. He sued the federal government in 2017 after his truck was seized at the Mexican border because he had five loose bullets in his center console. The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to take up appeals of the case.
Richard Van Dam is a physician from Somerset. In a Somerset Commonwealth Journal story, Van Dam said he wants to “build on” Rogers’ accomplishments in Congress. He says he wants to secure the country’s borders and “stop critical race theory.”
6th District, central Kentucky, including Lexington, Richmond and Georgetown
Christopher Preece is a high school science teacher and comic book creator from Berea. He is currently pursuing a STEM Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky and created a nonprofit to foster science literacy. On his website, Preece says health care is a human right and more should be done to eliminate disparities in access to care. He also says he wants to push for more education opportunities, investing in teachers and reducing student loan debt.
Geoff Young is a perennial candidate for elected office in Kentucky. He pushes for progressive issues like Medicare for All, legalizing cannabis, raising taxes on the wealthy and abolishing the death penalty. Young recently posted a conversation on his website in which he says the Ukrainian Army is dominated by Nazis, repeating a spurious claim Russian Vladimir Putin has used to justify the country’s invasion.
Andy Barr is an attorney who has represented the central Kentucky district since 2013. Before that, he worked in the Republican Gov. Ernie Fletcher’s administration. Barr has touted Congress’ rollback of the Dodd-Frank Consumer Protection Act in 2018, and is pushing legislation divest the federal government from banks that boycott the fossil fuel industry.
Derek Leonard Petteys describes himself as a “citizen candidate” who will fight for middle class values instead of big money special interests. Petteys says the government has been run by “lawyers and the political elite for far too long.” On his webpage, he says conservative voices have been silenced at school board meetings.