Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Republicans flip Kentucky’s last Democratic-held legislative seat in the central time zone

York, Dalton

When the Kentucky General Assembly convenes January 3rd, there will be no Democrats serving counties in the central time zone.

The change comes after the defeat of two-term Representative Patti Minter. Minter was first elected to the Bowling Green-based 20th House district in 2018, filling the seat occupied for more than forty years by former House Speaker Jody Richards.

Unofficial vote totals show Republican challenger Kevin Jackson capturing the seat. Jackson is a financial advisor and retired educator in local school districts.

The race was a top target for Republicans hoping to expand their supermajority in the state House. In the redistricting process following the 2020 census, Republican legislative leaders redrew Minter’s district to remove core Democratic precincts in Bowling Green in favor of GOP-heavy precincts in Warren County. In her concession speech, Minter said the new maps and lack of voting options in Bowling Green caused her defeat.

“It took unprecedented gerrymandering, a huge super PAC from the other side, and as everybody in this room who voted knows, it took extraordinary voter suppression,” Minter said.

Minter said the local Democratic Party repeatedly requested a polling location in downtown Bowling Green, which she said would have benefited low-income and minority voters and allowed for a walkable polling site near Western Kentucky University.

Minter addressed supporters Tuesday night following her loss to Representative-Elect Kevin Jackson.
Dalton York
Minter addressed supporters Tuesday night following her loss to Representative-Elect Kevin Jackson.

Jackson told WKU Public Radio he looks forward to representing Bowling Green in the General Assembly. He said he comes from a background similar to those of many voters in his district and will be able to have a seat at the table as a member of the majority party.

“I don’t have any hidden agendas. I want to go to Frankfort and represent all the people of the 20th district,” Jackson said. “I’m not interested in a small group here and there. I think most of the 20th district is just like me. They’re middle-class, middle of the road people, and I so look forward to representing them in Frankfort.”

Jackson said he plans to seek a seat on the House Education Committee. He identified advocating for public education as a top priority for his term of office.

Dalton York joined WKU Public Radio in December 2021 as a reporter and host of Morning Edition. He graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in History from Murray State University, and was named MSU's Outstanding Senior Man for fall 2021. He previously served as a student reporter and All Things Considered host for WKMS, part of the Kentucky Public Radio network. He has won multiple Kentucky Associated Press Awards and Impact Broadcast Awards from the Kentucky Broadcasters Association. A native of Marshall County, Dalton is a proud product of his tight-knit community.