Legislative Race Roundup: Three-way contest for 13th Senate; Nicholasville Mayor to run for open House seat

10/23/2013 10:20 AM

As the chilly fall air descends upon Kentucky legislative elections are warming the atmosphere among candidates and politicos in Frankfort.

With two special elections in 2013 across both chambers and candidates announcing for seats in 2014 – - election season is upon the Commonwealth.

The candidates have been named in the race to replace former Sen. Kathy Stein, D-Lexington, in the 13th Senate District. Stein stepped down from the seat to accept an open circuit court judgeship.

On Monday the Fayette County GOP nominated Michael Johnson who has lived in the district for the past three decades. Johnson works in the Senate Leadership Offices in Frankfort and is a full time minister with Hands On Ministry in Lexington.

“I look forward to discussing the issues important to the 13th district during this election, especially education, job creation, and hope for our youth,” Johnson said in a press release. “I am so very grateful for this opportunity to make an impact on my community and bring a message that transcends party lines.”

Calls and emails to Johnson were not returned at the time this article was published.

Johnson will take on Democratic nominee Reginald Thomas who is a lawyer and associate professor at Kentucky State University.

Thomas became known for his shoe leather campaigning in the 88th House District contest in 2012 where he knocked on doors in all of the districts precincts. While the Lexington Senate District is larger and the timetable for election is truncated Thomas says he’s going to try the same strategy in this race.

The 13th District covers downtown Lexington and favors Democrats – but former Democrat turned Independent Richard Moloney could shake things up in this race.

Moloney is a former seven-term city councilman in Lexington, and told the Lexington Herald-Leader that he was going to officially announce his candidacy next week.

The special election has been called for December 10.

Nicholasville Mayor announces candidacy for open 39th House race

Nicholasville Mayor Russ Meyer, a Democrat, announced Wednesday his intention to run for the open 39th district House seat held by Democrat Bob Damron.

Damron has held the district which includes Jessamine County and a portion of southern Fayette County since 1993, and he told Pure Politics in September that he would not be seeking a 12th term in the House. Instead Damron will run for run for county judge-executive in 2014.

In a press release Meyer said he has been encouraged to run for the seat.

“It’s an opportunity to continue to focus on creating an economic environment that will help bring more jobs to our area,” Meyer said. “It would enable me to have more of an impact on education and the public school system, which is fundamental to a thriving community.”

Meyer had already announced that he would not be seeking re-election as the Nicholasville Mayor – a post which he has held since 2006.

About Nick Storm

Nick Storm is the Anchor and Managing Editor of Pure Politics, 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 the connection between the high profile Steubenville, Ohio rape and a Kentucky hacker whose push for further investigation could put him in federal prison. Nick is also working on a feature length bio documentary Outlaw Poet: A documentary on Ron Whitehead. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStorm_cn2. Nick can be reached at 502-792-1107 or nicholas.storm@charter.com.

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