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Kentucky Republicans Win Big In Statehouse Elections


Republicans picked up several seats in the Kentucky statehouse on Election Day, adding to their supermajorities in both chambers of the legislature.

The development comes as Republicans are threatening to tweak Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear’s ability to issue emergency executive orders during the coronavirus pandemic.

Initial returns on Tuesday night showed Republicans gaining up to 12 seats in the 100-member state House of Representatives, where they already have 62 seats.

Many of the flipped seats in the House were open seats where Democrats decided to not seek reelection. Democrats had hoped to pick up some seats in suburban parts of the state, but were not able to while also losing several long-held seats in rural parts of the state. A full list of the potential flips is included below.

Republicans also picked up two seats in the 38-member state Senate, where they already have 28 seats.

Incumbent Democratic Sen. Johnny Ray Turner is losing to Republican challenger Johnnie L. Turner in the 29th Senate district and Republican Adrienne Southworth is winning in the 7th Senate district over Democratic Rep. Joe Graviss, who decided to run for the senate instead of reelection in the House.

Southworth previously worked as then-Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton’s deputy chief of staff amid a fraught time during the Bevin-Hampton administration.

Here are the seats that initial returns show Republicans winning over Democrats in the state House of Representatives:

Republicans Potentially Defeating Democratic Incumbents:

House District 10: Republican Josh Calloway leads incumbent Rep. Dean Schamore

House District 11: Republican Jonathan Dixon leads incumbent Rep. Rob Widerstein

House District 13: Republican DJ Johnson, a former representative, leads incumbent Rep. Jim Glenn

House District 48: Republican Ken Fleming, a former representative, leads incumbent Rep. Maria Sorolis

House District 96: Republican Patrick Flannery leads incumbent Rep. Kathy Hinkle.

Open Seats Potentially Flipped By Republicans

House District 22: Republican Shawn McPherson leads Democrat David Young. The seat was previously held by Democratic Rep. Wilson Stone.

House District 39: Republican Matt Lockett leads Democrat Carolyn Dupont. The seat was previously held by Democratic Rep. Russ Meyer.

House District 47: Republican Felicia Rabourn leads Democrat Jack Crouch. The seat was previously held by Democratic Rep. Rick Rand.

House District 56: Republican Daniel Fister leads Democrat Lamar Allen. The seat was previously held by Democratic Rep. Joe Graviss, who ran for state senate this year, but lost.

House District 70: Republican William Lee Lawrence leads Democrat Craig Miller. The seat was previously held by Democratic Rep. John Sims.

House District 91: Republican Billy Wesley leads Democrat Paula Clemons-Combs. The seat was previously held by Democratic Rep. Cluster Howard.

House District 93: Republican Norma Kirk-McCormick leads Democrat Rod Varney. The seat was previously held by Democratic Rep. Chris Harris, who ran for the state supreme court, but lost.

Ryland Barton is the Managing Editor for Collaboratives. He's covered politics and state government for NPR member stations KWBU in Waco and KUT in Austin. He has a bachelor's degree from the University of Chicago and a master's degree in journalism from the University of Texas. He grew up in Lexington.

Email Ryland at
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