Republicans expand supermajorities in state House and Senate, but both constitutional amendments fall short on Election Day

Republicans saw huge wins in state elections Tuesday, picking up seats in both the state House and state Senate. However, with few results still rolling in, the priorities they put to the voters in the form of constitutional amendments have likely both failed on the ballot. 

With some counties still waiting to report results, it appears both amendments on the ballot, one dealing with abortion rights and the other allowing the legislature to call itself into session, failed Tuesday night. Around 8:30 am on Wednesday, the AP reported Amendment 2, the abortion amendment, had officially failed. Amendment 1 was still awaiting an official call but trails even further behind in results with nearly 54% voting no.

The supermajority in the state House expanded from 75 to more than 80 Tuesday night with many upsets and interesting results. 

Results in some of the most-watched state House races:

  • A member of Democratic House leadership, Rep. Angie Hatton, lost her re-election race to Republican Jacob Justice, which represents a GOP pick up. 
  • Incumbent Rep. Charles Miller (D) lost his re-election race to Republican Jared Bauman in the 28th District in Louisville. A Republican pick up. 
  • Rep. Patti Minter (D) lost her re-election race in the 20th District in the Bowling Green area to Republican Kevin Jackson. A Republican pick up.
  • Democrats also lost in the 68th District where incumbent state Rep. Buddy Wheatley (D) was narrowly defeated by Republican Stephanie Dietz. A Republican pick up. 
  • Rep. Jeff Donohue (D) lost his re-election race to Republican Emily Callaway in the 37th District in Louisville. Another Republican pick up.
  • Incumbent Democratic Rep. Cherlynn Stevenson won her re-election race against strong GOP challenger Jim Coleman in the House District 88. 
  • Kentucky’s 68th House District stayed in Republican control where Mike Clines (R) defeated Kelly Jones (D) in the race to replace retiring Rep. Joe Fischer who ran for Kentucky Supreme Court but lost to incumbent Justice Michelle Keller. 
  • Republican candidate Susan Tyler Witten won against Democrat Sue Foster in the 31st House District. 
  • Steve Bratcher (R) won in the 25th District, an open seat to replace retiring Rep. Jim DuPlessis. 
  • Incumbent GOP Rep. Ken Fleming won his re-election race which was a repeat matchup against former state Rep. Maria Sorolis (D) in Louisville’s 48th District. 
  • Rep. Jason Nemes (R) won his re-election race in the 33rd District against Democratic challenger Kate Turner. 
  • Rep. Daniel Fister (R) won his re-election race in the 56th District, defeating Democratic challenger Grayson Vandegrift. 

State Senate:

  • Sen. Donald Douglas (R) won his re-election race in the 22nd District.
  • In an open race in the 20th District, Republican Gex Williams (R) won the race against Democrat Teresa Barton.
  • Republican Amanda Bledsoe won the open 12th Senate District seat.
  • Shelley Funke Frommeyer (R) defeated Rene Heinrich (D) in the open 24th District seat.
  • Republican Lindsey Tichenor won in the 6th District against write in candidate Brian Easley.

Another highly watched race was the Franklin Circuit Court judicial race where Judge Phillip Shepherd easily won re-election against a challenge by Joe Bilby, the general counsel for the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

Stay tuned to The Bottom Line for a story about election results in federal races.

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Jacqueline Pitts
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