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Bottom Line: 3 GOP committee chairs lose to primary challengers

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Kentucky’s 2022 primary elections saw some close races for incumbents and big upsets in Northern Kentucky.

On Tuesday night, three Republican House committee chairmen were defeated by more “liberty” leaning candidates.

  • Rep. Adam Koenig of Erlanger lost to Erlanger City Council member Steven Doan in the 69th House District by around 200 votes. Koenig is the chair of the House Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations Committee and has sponsored many bills dealing with sports wagering, the bourbon industry, Kentucky’s worker’s compensation system, and more.
  • Rep. Ed Massey of Hebron was defeated by Republican challenger Steve Rawlings in House District 66. Massey serves as chair of the House Judiciary Committee and has played a key role in many criminal justice issues and other items like pension reform.
  • Rep. Sal Santoro of Union fell to challenger Marianne Proctor in House District 60. Santoro serves as Chair of the Transportation Budget subcommittee and has been a key advocate for increased infrastructure investment.

Democratic incumbent Rep. Tom Burch also lost his re-election campaign to challenger Daniel Gossberg.

Two races pitted Republican incumbents against each other after new redistricting maps placed them in the same district.

  • GOP Rep. Jim Gooch, chair of the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee, won the primary election against fellow Rep. Lynn Bechler in the newly drawn 12th District in western Kentucky.
  • And Rep. Bobby McCool was victorious over Rep. Norma Kirk-McCormick in the newly drawn 97th District in eastern Kentucky.

Many incumbent legislators were successful in their primary elections on Tuesday night. Perhaps most notably, Republican state Sen. Donald Douglas defeated Andrew Cooperrider for the GOP nomination to the 22nd Senate District. Douglas’ race against the “liberty” leaning Cooperrider was the most expensive primary contest in Kentucky this year.

Other incumbent lawmakers who won their primary elections including:

  • House Speaker David Osborne (R)- 59th House District
  • House Majority Floor Leader Steven Rudy (R)- 1st House District
  • Rep. Samara Heavrin (R)- 18th House District
  • Rep. Ken Upchurch (R)- 52nd House District
  • Rep. Brandon Reed (R)- 24th House District
  • Rep. Walker Thomas (R)- 8th House District
  • Rep. Kim Moser (R)- 64th House District
  • Rep. Tom Odell Smith (R)- 86th House District
  • Rep. Phillip Pratt (R)- 62nd House District
  • Rep. Kim King (R)- 55th House District
  • Rep. Savannah Maddox (R)- 61st House District
  • Rep. Bill Wesley (R)- 91st House District
  • Rep. Danny Bentley (R)- 98th House District
  • Rep. Josie Raymond (D) won in the new 41st House District (she currently represents the 31st District)
  • Rep. Charles Miller (D)- 28th House District
  • Rep. Pamela Stevenson (D)- 43rd House District
  • Sen. Jared Carpenter (R)- 34th Senate District
  • Sen. Robby Mills (R)- 4th Senate District

Other seats saw new names on the ballot this primary elections cycle in seats left vacant by retiring legislators and primaries to determine challengers for incumbents in the fall. Winners include:

  • Wade Williams (R) won in the 4th District and will face Democrat Byron Hobgood in November
  • Amy Neighbors (R) won a crowded primary in House District 21 and is unopposed in November
  • Steve Bratcher (R) will face Democrat Katherine Leonardin November in House District 25
  • Susan Tyler Witten (R) and Sue Foster (D) won their primary elections in House District 31 and will face each other in November
  • Rebecca Raymer (R) in the 15th District will face Britt Hernandez-Stevenson (D)
  • Kevin Jackson (R) will face Democratic incumbent Rep. Patti Minter in the 20th District
  • Keith Pruitt (D) won the Democratic primary in the 24thHouse District and will face incumbent GOP Rep. Brandon Reed in the General election
  • Sarah Stalker (D) won the primary election in District 34 and is unopposed in November
  • John Hodgson (R) won a three-person primary in the 36thHouse District and is unopposed in November
  • Emily Callaway (R) won the 37th House District primary and is unopposed in November
  • Carrie Sanders McKeehan (R) won the GOP primary in the new 41st District and will face incumbent Democratic Rep. Josie Raymond in the General
  • Candy Massaroni (R) won the primary election in the 50th District
  • Grayson Vandegrift (D) will face incumbent GOP Rep. Dan Fister in November in the 56th District
  • Mike Clines (R) won in the 68th House District and will face Democrat Kelly Jones in November
  • Thomas Weston Adams, III (D) won in the 73rd District and will face incumbent GOP Rep. Ryan Dotson in November
  • Democrat Chad Aull won in the 79th District and is now unopposed in the General election 
  • Jacob Justice (R) won the 94th House District primary and will incumbent Democratic Rep. Angie Hatton in November
  • Brandon Spencer (R) will face incumbent Democratic Rep. Ashley Tacket Laferty in the November election for the 95th District seat
  • Kevin Anderson (D) won in the 99th District and will face incumbent GOP Rep. Richard White in November
  • Lindsey Tichnor (R) won in the 6th Senate District and is unopposed in the November election
  • Gex “Jay” Williams (R) won a crowded primary in the 20thSenate District and will face Democrat Teresa Barton in November
  • Shelley Funke Frommeyer (R) won the primary in the 24thSenate District and will face Democrat Rene Heinrich in November
  • James Peden (R) won the Republican primary in the 26thSenate District and will face incumbent Democratic Sen. Karen Berg in November
  • Sid Allen (D) will face incumbent GOP Sen. Brandon Smith in the General election for the 30th Senate District

Meanwhile, at the federal level, all members of Kentucky’s Congressional delegation running for re-election won their primary races.

Two state lawmakers faced off in a primary election to decide who will be the Democratic candidate to replace retiring Congressman John Yarmuth of Louisville. State Senate Minority Floor Leader Morgan McGarvey got 69% of the vote in his race against state Rep. Attica Scott.

Former state Rep. Charles Booker (D) won his primary elections race and will officially face Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul in the fall.

Stay tuned to The Bottom Line for more updates about the 2022 elections.