Former state Reps. Nemes and Belcher preparing to face off in their bids to return to the House

11/11/2013 06:01 PM

Two former state House lawmakers who lost their last re-election bids could face off against one another in the 2014 election.

Former Democratic Rep. Linda Belcher of Shepherdsville, who served two terms in the House, and one-term Republican Rep. Mike Nemes have both declared their candidacy for the newly-created 49th House seat in eastern Bullitt County.

Nemes was the only incumbent Republican state representative to lose in 2012, falling to Democratic Rep. Denny Butler in the 38th District in south Louisville. Belcher was one of two incumbent Democrats to lose re-election. She was defeated by Russell Webber 53 percent to 47 percent in the 49th District that, at the time, covered most of Bullitt County.

But when the General Assembly passed new House district maps in the August special session, the lines split Bullitt County up. Webber now lives in the 26th District covering western Bullitt County and northern Hardin County. The new 49th District — where Belcher lives — covers the rest of the county.

Belcher told Pure Politics in August that she was going to run for the seat and at the time she said she hoped voters would “look at the work I’ve done before.”

“Whether you’re Republican, Democrat, Independent and vote for me because I did work hard, and I was able to do some things for Bullitt County,” Belcher said.

Since the 2012 race Nemes moved to Bullitt County. And Nemes filed his paperwork to run on Friday, meaning that if he and Belcher win their May 20 primary races the two former colleagues will face off in next fall’s race.

“To my understanding and everybody else she drew the line so that she can get elected, and as the Pioneer News said — quoted her as saying it’s her seat. And I’d just like to remind her it’s the people’s seat,” Nemes said.

Nemes lost his 2012 bid for a second term in Southern Jefferson County 59 percent to 41 percent in a heavily Democratic district. Bullitt County, meanwhile, has proven to be more conservative and spent much of the last 15 years alternating between Democratic and Republican state representatives.

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm joined cn|2 in December 2011 as a reporter for Pure Politics. He is now the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics. Throughout his career, Nick has covered several big political stories up close, including interviewing President Barack Obama on the campaign trail back in 2008. Nick says he loves being at the forefront of Kentucky politics and working with the brightest journalists in the commonwealth. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@twcnews.com.

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