Democratic state Sen. Dorsey Ridley considering run for 1st Congressional District seat

10/02/2015 04:57 PM

Democratic state Sen. Dorsey Ridley says he’s “in the paddock being saddled” for a Congressional run.

Ridley, D-Henderson, told Pure Politics on Friday that he’s not prepared to announce a run for Congress yet, but he’s been on the phone the last 24 hours being encouraged to run for the post.

In 2016 the position will be an open seat as longtime U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Hopkinsville, announced this week he would not be seeking a 12th term.

The move from Whitfield has ignited a Republican primary for the seat with Agriculture Commissioner James Comer, Whitfield’s district director Michael Pape and Hickman County Attorney Jason Batts all announcing runs for the office in the days after.

Republican former Attorney General candidate Todd P’Pool is also considering a race.

“While the 1st District seat is of great importance, I remain focused on this November’s election and bringing new leadership to Frankfort,” P’Pool said in a statement sent to Pure Politics. “Our Republican nominees deserve our undivided attention and support; therefore, I will not announce my decision until after the November election.”

Meanwhile the western 1st Congressional District presents a problem for Ridley and other Democrats contemplating a run with a skew in voting habits.

Currently there are more than 300,000 registered Democrats in the district and only 187,869 registered Republicans — but those registered Democrats have been voting for the GOP in recent years.

However, Ridley says he sees good news in the recent polling for Attorney General Jack Conway in his gubernatorial race against GOP nominee Matt Bevin in the western portion of Kentucky.

“Jack is behind by one point,” Ridley said of Conway’s performance in the west. “It shows they’re supportive of a socially conservative Democrat, which I am.”

Ridley has served several terms in the General Assembly, representing a House district from 1987 to 1994 and his current Senate district from 2004 to the present.

Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics available exclusively on Spectrum News. Pure Politics is the only nightly program dedicated to Kentucky politics. Nick covers all of the political heavyweights and his investigative work brings to light issues that might otherwise go unnoticed, like his coverage of the backlog of DNA rape kits waiting to be tested in Kentucky. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Pure Politics airs weeknight at 7 and 11:30 on Spectrum News. Follow Nick on Twitter @NStorm_Politics. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.

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