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Kentucky Primary 2020: Louisville's Contested Statehouse Elections

Voters across Kentucky will weigh in on elections for the state House of Representatives this year (the entire House is up for reelection every two years) and some will vote in state Senate races (half of the Senate is up for reelection every two years).

But during the upcoming primary elections on June 23rd, there are only a handful of legislative races in the Louisville area with more than one candidate running for their party's nomination. And all those contested races are among Democrats.

There's also a special election that voters in Oldham County and part of northeast Jefferson County will weigh in on.

Voters can check what House and Senate districts they reside in on the State Board of Elections website.

Officials have been encouraging voters to cast ballots by mail during this year's primary elections to help prevent long lines at polling places. Those casting ballots by mail must have their ballots postmarked by June 23rd.

Jefferson County will have only one polling place on the day of the primaries, but it's a large one located at the Kentucky Exposition Center.

Senate District 26 Special Election

A special election will take place in Kentucky’s 26th Senate district after longtime Republican state Sen. Ernie Harris retired before the end of his term. The district includes Oldham County and part of northeastern Jefferson County.

Karen Berg (Democrat)

Berg is a physician and assistant professor who ran unsuccessfully for the seat in 2018. On her website, she says she wants to use her healthcare expertise to improve access to healthcare and lower prescription drug costs.

Bill Ferko (Republican)

Ferko is a businessman from who is on the board of directors of Sypris Solutions, a Louisville-based company that manufactures and supplies electronics for the aerospace and defense industry. He also owns a horse farm and works as an instructor of equine finance at the University of Louisville.

Ferko is the chairman of Dismas Charities, which operates halfway houses around the country.

Former Gov. Matt Bevin appointed Ferko to serve on the Kentucky Horse Commission after he replaced most of the members in 2016.

Senate District 37 Democratic Primary

Four Democrats are vying for the seat that will be vacated by retiring state Sen. Perry Clark, who has represented the district since 2006. The district includes southwest Louisville.

One of the candidates in the race, David Yates, was sued by his three opponents to try and have him disqualified from the election. Katie Brophy, Garrett Dean and Di Tran argued that Yates violated state election law by filing for the race as “David Yates” even though his full name is “Charles David Yates.” A judge dismissed the case on Wednesday.

Katie Brophy

Brophy is an attorney specializing in family law and animal rights and has run her own firm for more than 40 years, according to her campaign website. She supports protecting animal welfare, increasing access to affordable healthcare, legalizing marijuana, protecting women’s reproductive rights, enacting common sense gun control, increasing the minimum wage and expanding voting rights.

Garrett A. Dean

Dean is an engineer, army veteran and major in the Kentucky National Guard. On his campaign website, Dean says he favors legalizing sports betting and medical marijuana, closing corporate tax loopholes to generate more revenue for the state. He also says he wants to reduce class sizes and combat bullying in schools.

Di Tran

Tran is a business owner and faculty member at Sullivan University teaching information technology. On his campaign website, Tran says he wants to help people find jobs, encourage home and business ownership and promote fairness for all.

David Yates

Yates is an attorney and member of Louisville’s Metro Council, where he served as president for two terms. Yates represented people who alleged they were sexually abused by Louisville Metro Police officers. He also advocated against Louisville adopting so-called "sanctuary" immigration policies, saying it would put the city in the "cross-hairs" of Republican lawmakers.

On his campaign website, Yates says he wants to reduce prison overcrowding, expand the state’s expungement law, incentivize teachers to work in Louisville public schools and push for more infrastructure investment in Louisville.

House District 28 Democratic Primary

This district covers parts of southwestern Louisville.

Charles Miller (incumbent)

Miller is a former high school principal who has served in the state House of Representatives since 1999. He is 80 years old.

Ramona Jade Thomas

Thomas suspended her campaign in April due to health issues, but her name will still be on the ballot.

House District 30 Democratic Primary

This district is in south central Louisville.

Tom Burch (incumbent)

Burch was first elected to the legislature in 1972 and is currently the longest-serving House member. He was the chairman of the House Health and Family Services Committee until Democrats lost control of the chamber in 2017. Burch is a Navy veteran and worked at General Electric for more than 40 years.

Daniel Grossberg

Grossberg is a real estate agent, businessman and member of the Jefferson County Commission. He ran for state treasurer in 2015, but lost in a four-way primary election.

On his website, Grossberg says he wants to promote affordable housing, lower medical costs, raise the minimum wage, provide affordable childcare and prepare for future pandemics.

House District 40 Democratic Primary

This district covers parts of Shively and west Louisville.

Dennis Horlander

Horlander is a former state representative who lost reelection in 2018. He is a former Shively City Councilman who was first elected to the legislature in 1997. The Courier Journal raised questions about how frequently Horlander was paid for working when the legislature wasn’t in session — more than any other lawmaker.

On his campaign website, Horlander says he wants to bring "common-sense values" to Frankfort, legalize medical marijuana, stand up for schools and teachers and secure road funds for the district.

Nima Kulkarni (incumbent)

Kulkarni is an immigration lawyer first elected in 2018 and the first Indian-American elected to the legislature. She was an outspoken opponent of the bill banning so-called “sanctuary” immigration policies in the state — which didn’t pass — and criticized President Donald Trump’s coronavirus response and anti-immigrant rhetoric.

Kulkarni is a member of a group created by Louisville officials to come up with recommendations for how to create more civilian oversight of the city’s police department.

House District 43 Democratic Primary

This district covers parts of Russell, Portland and Downtown. It's currently held by Democratic Rep. Charles Booker, who is running for U.S. Senate and not seeking reelection.

David L. Snardon

Snardon is a civil rights leader, pastor of Joshua Tabernacle Baptist Church and president of Concerned Pastors of Russell.

On his website, Snardon says he supports affordable health care, increasing funding for Louisville’s public school system, reforming the state’s bail system and measures that would reduce homelessness and displacement.

Pamela D. Stevenson

Stevenson is a retired Air Force veteran and attorney for a nonprofit law firm. She ran for the district in 2018, but lost in a seven-way primary election.

According to her website, Stevenson says she wants to promote affordable health care, quality education, veteran services, a living wage and union protections.

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