By Jacqueline Pitts, The Bottom Line
FRANKFORT, Ky. — Former state Rep. DJ Johnson, R-Owensboro, has dropped his challenge of the contested House election which was originally decided by a 1 vote margin. A special House Election Contest Board ordered a recount which showed Johnson tied with Democrat Jim Glenn, who was seated by the House of Representatives when the 2019 General Assembly gaveled into session in January.
The 2019 session of the General Assembly started under unusual circumstances in January when an election in Daviess County was decided by only one vote and the Republican was challenging the election results. In response to the issue, the House appointed a new Election Contest Board comprised of nine members drawn at random to review evidence related to the contest. A recount of the election results of the race ordered by the contest board resulted in a tie.
However, instead of moving forward with the challenge, Johnson testified before the contest board on Friday and mentioned that the only options going forward seemed to be a coin flip or a special election. Johnson said he did not want to subject his community to a continuing legal battle or distract from the work of this year’s legislative session which is only 30 days.
State Rep. Glenn, D-Owensboro, has indicated that because the House had already seated him, he would have to be impeached before a new representative could be seated. For these reasons, Johnson told the special House board that he was withdrawing his challenge.
“For the good of my community, for the good of my people, at this point Mr. Chairman, I’m asking that I withdraw my challenge,” Johnson said.
Rep. Glenn, who formerly represented the district but was defeated by Johnson in the 2016 election, will continue to represent the western Kentucky district in the House and will be up for re-election again in 2020.