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Kentucky Primary Election Results: Here's Who Won Local Statehouse Races

Vote election

It's Primary Election Day part 2 in Kentucky. The primary election was last Tuesday, June 23, but because mail-in voting was expanded due to the pandemic, results have been delayed. Follow today's results here as counties report their totals for races including U.S. Senate, Kentucky House and Senate races and Louisville Metro Council.

2:14 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

1:00 p.m.: Metro Council member David Yates (D-25) won his race for a state senate seat, paving the way for the body to select his replacement early next year. He will represent the 37th District.

Yates, who was first elected to the council in 2010, tweeted his appreciation on Tuesday.

“Thank you to everyone for your vote and support! It’s time to get to work for our community,” he said.

He won 10,946 votes over three Democratic challengers, Katie Brophy, Di Tran and Garrett Dean. They received 2,708, 1,343 and 1,345 votes, respectively.

Since Yates represents an odd-numbered district, he was not up for reelection to the council this year. He is expected to continue serving as a Louisville lawmaker until he is sworn in as a state senator in January.

At that time, the council will begin the process of soliciting applications and interviewing candidates, one of which they will select to serve out the rest of Yates’ term, said Democratic caucus spokesman Tony Hyatt. The seat will be up for election by the public in 2022.

Hyatt said the body has selected replacement council members in four instances, including when members have passed away or been removed. This took place most recently in 2017, when Vitalis Lanshima was chosen to fill the District 21 seat after former council member Dan Johnson was removed following allegations of sexual harassment. Amina Elahi

12:22 p.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.
11:23 a.m.: Primary results are in for the competitive Metro Council races. In the District 4, 8, 10 and 20 races, there were no opposing-party candidates, meaning the primary winner will go on to take office in January 2021.

District 2: Incumbent Barbara Shanklin won the Democratic primary with 2,715 votes, with challenger RaeShanda Lias-Lockhart earning 1,469 votes. Two other candidates received fewer than 800 votes each. Shanklin will face Republican Folly Abbousa, who did not have a primary challenger, in November’s general election. If she wins, Shanklin would be serving a fifth consecutive term.

District 4: Jecorey Arthur came out on top in the Democratic primary, over five challengers. He won 1,495 votes. Robert LeVertis Bell came in second with 1,236 votes. The remaining candidates, including one who withdrew prior to the election, each received fewer than 700 votes each. There was no Republican candidate for this seat; Arthur will take office in January.

District 8: Cassie Chambers Armstrong won a decisive victory over two opponents in the Democratic primary, with 6,791 votes versus 2,839 for Shawn Reilly and 1,282 for Dan Borsch. There were no Republican candidates for this seat; Armstrong will take office in January.

District 10: Incumbent Pat Mulvihill survived a close challenge by Ryan Fenwick in this Democratic primary, with 3,747 votes to 3,650. There was no Republican candidate for this seat, Mulvilhill will serve his second full term beginning in January.

District 18: Mera Kathryn Corlett won the Democratic primary over Noah Grimes and Susan Jarl with 2,657 votes versus 1,623 and 1,085, respectively. Corlett will face incumbent Republican Marilyn Parker, who was unchallenged, in the November general election.

District 20: Incumbent Stuart Benson easily held onto his seat against opponent Wyatt Allison with 3,363 votes to 781 in the Republican primary. There were no Democratic candidates for this seat, so Benson will serve a fifth term beginning in January.  Amina Elahi

11:00 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

10:40 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 govoteky.com “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

9:54 a.m.: Kentuckians will finally get the results of last week’s primary election today, as local election officials submit their final count of mail-in ballots to state election officials.

All eyes are on the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, where state Rep. Charles Booker and retired Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath are battling a close race.

Fayette County, the second-largest pot of Democratic voters in Kentucky, submitted its final election results at about 9:30 am. Booker received 50% of the vote with 27,520 votes and McGrath got 43.7% with 24,005 votes.

Fayette County Clerk Don Blevins said that the vote counting process went smoothly.
"I'm glad this was super boring. That was the best outcome possible,” Blevins said.

As of 9:45 am, with 38 percent of the vote counted statewide, McGrath is leading Booker 46.1% to 40.4%.

With McGrath only losing Fayette by about 3,500 votes, the totals bode well for McGrath, who initial returns show performing well in more rural parts of the state.  Booker is expected to garner the most votes in Fayette and Jefferson counties, but needs to overperform in those areas to win.

Jefferson County, which has the largest number of registered Democrats in the state, is expected to submit its final tally this afternoon. — Ryland Barton

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