Kentucky Democrats Maintain Control of State House of Representatives

Democrats win 3 of 4 Special Elections

Democrats won 3 of the 4 special elections for the State House of Representatives. This brings the balance of power in the House to 53 Democrats and 47 Republicans.

The four special House elections arose because of vacancies (two legislators won statewide elections, and two legislators took appointments from the Governor). The winners will serve through the end of the year and must run in the May primaries and November general election to retain the seat. All 100 House seats are up for grabs in November, and Republicans hope they can ride the wave from Governor’s Bevin’s 2015 election into control of the state House. 

8th District (Christian, Trigg counties in Western Ky.). Seat formerly held by John Tilley (D), appointed Secretary of Justice & Public Safety Cabinet.

Jeff Taylor (D) defeated Walker Thomas (R) in this Western Kentucky race. Taylor is retired from TVA where he was a senior project manager for economic development. In a rare move, President Obama did a robo call today into the district on Taylor’s behalf.  Taylor is African-American and the district is about 35% African-American voters.  Taylor and his wife live in Hopkinsville.

54th District (Boyle, Casey counties in Central Ky). Seat formerly held by Mike Harmon (R), elected the Auditor of Public Accounts.

Daniel Elliott (R) defeated Bill Noelker (D) for this seat. Elliott is a young attorney in Danville. He is a graduate of Bellarmine University in Louisville and he interned with former U.S. Senator Jim Bunning.

62nd District (Scott, Fayette, Owen counties in Central Ky). Seat formerly held by Ryan Quarles (R), elected the Commissioner of Agriculture.

Chuck Tackett (D) defeated Phillip Pratt (R) in this Bluegrass region district. Tackett is a farmer and former Magistrate from Scott County, who has previously run twice for this seat. Tackett is married and has grown children.

98th District (Boyd, Greenup counties in Eastern Ky). Seat formerly held by Tanya Pullin (D), appointed an Administrative Law Judge.

Lew Nicholls (D) defeated Tony Quillen (R) in this Eastern Kentucky race. Nicholls is a retired army officer. He spent most of his career on the district and circuit court bench as a judge in Greenup County. Nicholls is also a published author. He and his wife have two children and five grandchildren.