Adkins looking towards frustrated electorate to help Democrats take control of state House

04/26/2018 04:36 PM

FRANKFORT – Another election cycle is upon Kentucky, and there is more disruption in the air. Two years ago, it was Trump who helped Republicans clear the hurdle they’d long faced in claiming the majority in the state House. Now, Democrats look to teachers to buoy their chances at reclaiming the majority.

House Minority Leader Rocky Adkins, D-Sandy Hook, says teachers across the state will be are engaged like he’s never seen his 31 years in office. Adkins is pointing to both efforts during the session, and now the ouster of Commissioner Stephen Pruitt as factors keeping teachers in the state engaged, and committed to voting on May 22, and in November.

Even though it’s an off-cycle election, this year’s midterms are certainly no sure thing for Democrats. They’re at an enormous fundraising disadvantage, and not only do they have to knock off incumbents, but they have to protect 11 seats in open races, due to retiring members.

However, Adkins is optimistic Democrats can protect their seats, and unseat enough GOP incumbent to win back the state House.

“I have been told and I think this is accurate, we have 120 counties in Kentucky, 100 of those 120 counties the largest employer are school districts,” he said, adding having that group engaged is huge in local elections.

“For the first time, I feel like I’ve got some wind at my back instead of a hurricane at my face.”

Adkins said he knows Democrats have been outspent in recent elections, but he trusts they will be able to compete in the elections because of the energy and organization that is taking shape.

“All that and you combine it with local officials being on the ballot as well — these races are now not national races, the way they were in ’16 where we got lumped in with the Trump wave,” he said. “These are local races where we believe we will be very competitive and I’m optimistic we can take back the Kentucky House of Representatives.”

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