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



  • Geoff Young for Congress wrote on February 28, 2018 09:45 AM :

    If the Kentucky “Democratic” Party doesn’t clean up massive corruption on its Executive Committee and start obeying its own Bylaws, there will be another Yuge Red Wave in November. I’m holding a press conference Thursday, March 1, in the Capitol Rotunda in Frankfort to explain why I believe 121 powerful Kentucky “Democrats” should be indicted & charged with felony election fraud in 2015 and 2018. 1:30 to 2:30 pm.

  • Honest Parley wrote on February 28, 2018 10:08 AM :

    Has Mr. Brown become delusional by his blind partisanship, his wealth or maybe the source of his wealth? Our Commonwealth is in a state of full crisis, and neither political party offers anything resembling long-term solutions. The only factually correct words in Mr. Brown’s broad pronouncement of victory are “…Democrats failed.” On that we will fully agree. But we depart from Mr. Brown when he suggests that Republicans offer anything better or even different.

    Kentucky’s Chief Executive has proven himself to lack even the most basic understanding of state government and fully incapable of governing with his party in control of both legislative chambers. The only legislative accomplishments by the GOP are the ideological cookie-cutter legislative efforts passed during the 2017 session that are of at best questionable long-term positive impact. The ONLY other accomplishments of this Governor have come by Executive Order.

    Governor Bevin is a narrowly thinking, rigid ideologue full of pride and self-righteous indignation, apparently incapable of understanding that “policy making” happens when he’s able to convince 51 House members and 20 Senate members to agree on solutions proposed by his administration. But this Governor has little to no respect of the members of his own party in the legislature due to his allegedly dishonest dealings with them and his insistence on politically crucifying their leaders in a most public way. He failed with his Public Pension reform proposal, compelling legislative leaders to pick up the broken pieces.

    And we predict he will fail as well on comprehensive tax reform. He carries no authority with the GOP majorities let alone the other hapless excuse for a political party. He may well ram through some ideological principle that relates to tax reform, and claim undue credit for it, but it will have little to nothing to do with the kind of comprehensive revenue reform needed to truly help a state like Kentucky.

    We supported this Governor, and we were plainly wrong. We should have remembered our uncle’s admonition to never trust a person who doesn’t know how to use his hands for work. This Governor has never created anything professionally, is known to have lied repeatedly and is of questionable military credentials. How many people under his command as a so-called Captain have helped to promote his political career?

    So we congratulate the Grand Old Party for their resounding victory in one of the most-Republican districts in the nation. It was a remarkable feat of pure mediocrity, given the abysmal turnout among their loyal partisans.

  • Ed Jessup wrote on February 28, 2018 10:10 PM :

    Ditto what Honest Parley said. Bevin is a pathetic failure as governor.

    That said, he’ll have Donald J. Trump campaigning for him next year, so watch for Hair Force One to set down at an airport near you.

    Mitch McConnell will also have a candidate in the Gov’s race, so we can expect the nation’s most dishonest politicians to battle it out right cheer in Kentucky. Popcorn!

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