Kentucky Democrats looking for new chairman with resignation of Patrick Hughes

01/09/2016 03:36 PM

The Kentucky Democratic Party is searching for a new chairman after current leader Patrick Hughes announced his plans to resign late Friday.

The move comes with the party reeling after winning two of the state’s seven constitutional offices in the fall election cycle and the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives slipping to 50-46, with House Minority Floor Leader Jeff Hoover saying this week that Monday could be a “historic” day in the chamber.

Hughes, in an email to state Democrats, said he will focus on his law practice after stepping down once a new chairman is elected. The Edgewood attorney had previously worked as a partner for the legal firm Dressman Benzinger LaVelle before becoming KDP chairman.

“I am doing all I can to facilitate a smooth transition to a new Chair so as to maximize the Democrats’ opportunities to preserve, and perhaps strengthen, their majority in the Kentucky House of Representatives,” Hughes said in the email, first reported by WDRB-TV.

“I appreciate the great honor to have served as your Chair, and I look forward to Democrats retaining control of the House, and the anticipated successes of Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, Attorney General Andy Beshear, Congressman Yarmuth, and all of our elected Democrats who work every day to benefit the people of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.”

Hughes, who assumed the role last February and had served as chief deputy attorney general under Democratic gubernatorial nominee Jack Conway, said a committee has been formed to find a new KDP chairman, with a deadline for applicants set for 4 p.m. Friday.

Kevin Wheatley

Kevin Wheatley is a reporter for Pure Politics. He joined cn|2 in September 2014 after five years at The State Journal in Frankfort, where he covered Kentucky government and politics. You can reach him at kevin.wheatley@charter.com or 502-792-1135 and follow him on Twitter at @KWheatley_cn2.

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