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Kentucky Primary Election 2020: One Week Later, the Results Will Be Released

WKU Public Radio

It's one week after Kentucky's delayed primary election, and county clerks' offices across the state are reporting their vote counts to the Kentucky Secretary of State. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, every registered voter was allowed to request an absentee ballot that could be returned through the mail. Counting all of those ballots, plus early votes cast at local county clerks' offices, and votes cast at polling places on primary day. 

1:14 p.m.: There were a number of Kentucky House and Senate seats on primary ballots this month, including a Senate district special election to replace a retiring lawmaker. Here are the results:

Senate District 26 Special Election: Karen Berg, a Democrat and a physician, has won the special election for Kentucky’s 26th Senate district, which was vacated by longtime GOP Sen. Ernie Harris, who retired earlier this year.

The district includes all of Oldham County and part of northeast Jefferson County and will increase Democrats’ roster in the 38-member state Senate from 9 members to 10. Her term will expire in 2022.

Senate District 37 Democratic Primary: Louisville Metro Councilman David Yates has won the Democratic primary for the 37th Senate district, which includes southwest Louisville. The seat is currently held by Democratic state Sen. Perry Clark, who is not seeking reelection.
Yates previously served as Louisville Metro Council president for two terms. He is running unopposed in the General Election.

House District 28 Democratic Primary: Incumbent Democratic Rep. Charles Miller has won the Democratic primary for the 28th House district, defeating Ramona Jade Thomas, who suspended her campaign in April. Miller is a former high school principal who has served in the state House of Representatives since 1999. This district is in southwestern Jefferson County. Miller is running unopposed in the General Election.

House District 30 Democratic Primary: Incumbent Democratic Rep. Tom Burch has won the Democratic primary for House District 30, defeating real estate agent Daniel Grossberg. Burch was first elected to the legislature in 1972 and is currently the longest-serving House member.  This district is in south central Louisville. Burch is running unopposed in the General Election.

House District 40 Democratic Primary: Incumbent Democratic Rep. Nima Kulkarni has won the Democratic primary for House District 40, defeating former state Rep. Dennis Horlander. Kulkarni is an immigration attorney and the first Indian-American elected to the legislature. This district covers parts of Shively and west Louisville. Kulkarni is running unopposed in the General Election.

House District 43 Democratic Primary: Air Force veteran Pamela Stevenson has won the Democratic primary for House District 43, defeating pastor and civil rights activist David Snardon. This district covers parts of Russell, Portland and Downtown. It’s currently held by Democratic Rep. Charles Booker, who lost the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate and could not seek reelection to the legislature this year. Stevenson is running unopposed in the General Election. — Ryland Barton

11:23 a.m.: The Associated Press has called the close Senate Democratic primary for Amy McGrath. Per the AP:

Former Marine pilot Amy McGrath has overcome a bumpier-than-expected Kentucky primary to win the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination. She fended off progressive Charles Booker to set up a big-spending showdown with Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in the fall. McConnell is seeking a seventh term. It took a week after voting ended June 23 for McGrath to be declared the winner Tuesday. The outcome seemed a certainty early in the campaign but became tenuous as Booker’s profile surged. The Black state lawmaker highlighted protests against the deaths of African Americans in encounters with police.

10:58 a.m.: It's extremely close in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate. With 92% of precincts reporting in Kentucky, Charles Booker is leading Amy McGrath by 0.2%. Booker has a 890 vote lead. 

10:41 a.m.: With 90% of precincts counted, Charles Booker leads Amy McGrath by less than one percentage point. Booker is currently ahead in the Demcoratic primary for U.S. Senate by 4,003 votes.

10:00 a.m.: Democrats have gained a seat in the state Senate after a special election for a district representing Oldham County and part of Jefferson County.

Karen Berg, a physician, defeated Bill Ferko in the special election for the 26th Senate District. The seat had previously been held by longtime legislator Ernie Harris, the chair of the powerful Senate Transportation Committee who retired from the General Assembly earlier this year.

Ben Self, chair of the Kentucky Democratic Party, issued a statement saying that “Kentucky voters are tired of the divisiveness of the Republican Party of Kentucky.”

“There has been no better time for Kentuckians to choose a doctor to send to Frankfort. Suburban, urban and rural voters are ready for leaders in Frankfort who want to help Governor Beshear address Kentucky’s challenges. I look forward to the great work State Senator-elect Karen Berg will do for Oldham and Jefferson counties,” Self wrote. — Ryland Barton

9:40 a.m.: Charles Booker garnered the great majority of votes in Jefferson County, his hometown, receiving 88,116 votes to Amy McGrath’s 52,224.

The landslide in Kentucky’s largest city confirms the fact that Kentucky’s Democratic U.S. Senate primary is a close one; the race too close to call and vote totals are still rolling in from counties across the state.

Miranda Combs, spokesperson for the Kentucky Secretary of State said that unofficial results will be posted at “as soon as the majority of counties are in.

“As of 10:35am, we are not at that point yet,” Combs wrote on Twitter. — Ryland Barton

The award-winning news team at WKU Public Radio consists of Dan Modlin, Kevin Willis, Lisa Autry, and Joe Corcoran.
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