GOP retains 89th Dist. seat in special election

02/27/2018 09:26 PM

Republican candidate Robert Goforth, R- has won the special election to replace Rep. Marie Rader in the 89th Dist. special election.

Goforth, of East Bernstadt, won with 2,809 votes to Democratic candidate Kelly Smith’s 1,399 votes in the district which encompasses all of Jackson and part of Laurel and Madison County.

Republicans hold a two-to-one voter registration advantage in the eastern Kentucky district. Which brings Republicans to 63 seats held in the House of Representatives.

Gofroth’s campaign manager T. J. Litafik described the win as a “bright red floodwall” against a predicted blue midterm tidal wave.

“With Robert Goforth’s overwhelming victory tonight in the 89th House District, the ‘Blue Wave’ that Democrats predicted after last week’s Special Election was halted by a bright Red Floodwall that will save the people of Kentucky from the storms of a far-left agenda of social upheaval. Voters in Jackson, Laurel, and Madison rejected a very liberal candidate and elected one with rock solid conservative values.”

Republican Party of Kentucky Chairman Mac Brown congratulated Goforth on his victory in a news release.

“Tonight’s results should put to rest any question of which party will have the momentum heading into November,” Brown said in a statement. “Since Republicans took control of the Kentucky State House in 2017, the Commonwealth has seen record economic development announcements, we are finally doing what Democrats failed to do and fixing our broken pension system and we are getting our fiscal House in order. We look forward to continuing to share that message with voters as we move towards the general election.”

The Kentucky Democratic Party acknowledge the GOP’s victory while pointing out the voter registration disparity.

“This district is the reddest of the red in Kentucky — Republicans outnumber Democrats by more than 2 to 1. Trump won this district by 62 percent. We’re very proud of Kelly Smith’s campaign efforts in the 89th. In fact, her opponent only won this race by 34 percent, which is a 28 percent swing from 2016. Kelly far outperformed most other special elections in 2017,” Kentucky Democratic Party spokesman Brad Bowman said. “While we would have loved the results to be different, our plan to take back the statehouse this fall will go through many districts where we don’t start at such a disadvantage, and where a 28 point swing will flip the district,”

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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