On the Trail

Kentucky Democrats huddle after losing state House, talk about regrouping for 2018 cycle

11/19/2016 09:26 PM

FRANKFORT — There was a lot of soul-searching on Democrat Drive on Saturday as the Kentucky Democratic Party’s State Central Executive Committee discussed the party’s messaging, tactics and personnel in the wake of a brutal election cycle. Democrats entered Nov. 8 with a 53-47 majority in the state’s House of Representatives only to lose 17 seats as Republicans head into January’s 30-day session with a 64-36 supermajority. The GOP took the House for the first time in 95 years and, with... Read more 

Kentucky Democrats must regroup after losing state House and appeal to blue-collar voters, Chandler says

11/17/2016 07:30 PM

Former Democratic Congressman Ben Chandler sees a tough road ahead for Kentucky Democrats after they lost their grip on the state House of Representatives for the first time since 1921 in this year’s election cycle. Chandler, the president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, says Democrats need to focus on trade and blue-collar issues in future election cycles if they hope to regain the House, which Republicans will control come January after picking up 17 seats en route... Read more 

Recanvass confirms Johnson, Cantrell and Nelson winners

11/17/2016 04:24 PM

Three candidates who sought to reverse the outcomes of their elections with a round of recanvassing got more bad news on Thursday as no changes to the vote counts were found. The vote totals will stand for Rep. Denny Butler, a Louisville Republican who lost his race to Democrat McKenzie Cantrell by 259 votes; Rep. Linda Belcher, a Shepherdsville Democrat who lost the 49th House District to Republican Dan Johnson by 156 votes; and Republican Chad Shannon, who was beaten... Read more 

Three seek recanvasses in state House races

11/15/2016 06:06 PM

Three legislative races decided by less than 450 votes each will be recanvassed, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announced Tuesday. Rep. Denny Butler, a Louisville Republican who lost his race to Democrat McKenzie Cantrell by 259 votes; Rep. Linda Belcher, a Shepherdsville Democrat who lost the 49th House District to Republican Dan Johnson by 156 votes; and Republican Chad Shannon, who was beaten by Democratic Rep. Rick Nelson in the 87th House District by 420 votes, all requested recanvasses. Vote totals... Read more 

Democratic leadership was absent when the party needed them, Democratic consultant says

11/14/2016 03:21 PM

After losing the state House in a crushing loss on Election Day, Democrats in Kentucky are looking at what went wrong after 95 years on top, and what they can do to rebuild their party. For Democratic consultant and Elizabethtown Independent School Board member Matt Wyatt, Election Day losses are to blame on a rudderless party with absent leadership. “I think that we have a structural problem within our party. We also have a problem with lack of leadership,” Wyatt... Read more 

After bruising U.S. Senate campaign, Democrats say Gray should look to Congress, constitutional offices in future

11/13/2016 08:00 AM

As U.S. Sen. Rand Paul heads back to Washington after a double-digit win on Tuesday, his Democratic opponent, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, is left assessing his political prospects. Despite losing by 14.5 points, Democratic observers close to Gray say he has a number of options available in state politics. Kentucky Democrats are reeling after losing the state House of Representatives in a 17-seat swing on Tuesday and narrowly winning two constitutional offices – attorney general by 0.2 percent and secretary of... Read more 

How the man behind a major PAC says GOP independent expenditure groups helped to take control of the House

11/11/2016 01:49 PM

Two-years ago coming off his re-election to the Senate, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell gathered his troops in a mission to take the reins of power in Frankfort. McConnell, and his allies, knew they needed to have quality GOP candidates running for House seats in 2016, something they lacked in some cases in 2014, as McConnell swept the state, but did not lead to majority control in Frankfort. The group also needed money — a lot of it. Kentuckians for Strong... Read more 

Republican observers urge new House supermajority to exercise patience while Democrats say party needs to rethink strategy, message

11/09/2016 10:15 PM

As Republicans retake control of the state’s House of Representatives for the first time since 1921, GOP operatives say their party’s representatives in the lower chamber should proceed with some caution to protect their unanticipated supermajority. For Kentucky Democrats, it’s time to regroup after the combination of a heavy anti-Hillary Clinton wave and big money swept away one of their last bastions of influence in Frankfort. “Democrats have to go back to the drawing board,” Democratic consultant Matt Erwin, of Louisville, told... Read more 

Jim Gray noncommittal about future political plans

11/09/2016 01:28 PM

LEXINGTON – Lexington Mayor and Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Jim Gray was noncommittal about his future political plans after his loss to U.S. Sen. Rand Paul on Tuesday night. Gray, who lost the U.S. Senate race to Paul by just over 15 points, was asked by Pure Politics immediately after his concession speech, if he would consider a future run for a state office. “What I learned a long time ago is that you never say never,” Gray said. When asked... Read more 

Republicans take control of the Kentucky House for the first time in nearly a century

11/08/2016 09:39 PM

LOUISVILLE — Republicans rode a heavy wave led by GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump, netting 17 seats en route to a 64-seat supermajority after Tuesday’s elections. It marks the first time Republicans have held the state’s House of Representatives since 1921, claiming the final Southern legislative chamber held by Democrats. The donned red caps reminiscent of those worn by Trump on the campaign trail and emblazoned with #newmajority across the front. Tuesday’s results also give Republicans supermajorities in both houses of the... Read more 


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