LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 5, 2014) — Democrats hold the same 54-46 majority control of the Kentucky House of Representatives after Tuesday’s elections that they have had the past two years despite an aggressive Republican push this cycle to regain a majority for the first time in 93 years.
On Tuesday, 25 Democrats and 23 Republicans were re-elected unopposed so the balance of power was determined in the remaining 52 elections.
Democratic Party control of the House the last 20 years has decreased from 71 Democrats to 29 Republicans in 1994 to the chamber’s current makeup of 54 Democrats to 46 Republicans, a balance that was retained for the next term.
Kentucky voters elected representatives to two-year terms in all 100 House districts Tuesday. Those terms begin when the 2015 General Assembly convenes Jan. 6.
Democrats had a disappointing loss in Hardin County where 22-year state Rep. Jimme Lee, of Elizabethtown, lost a close race for re-election to Republican Jim DuPlessis, of Elizabethtown, in the 25th District. Lee was the key advocate behind construction of the state’s $129 million Eastern State Hospital for the mentally ill in Lexington, which opened in 2013, replacing an aging complex, some of which was 185 years old.
Elsewhere in the state, Democratic incumbents won in races targeted by Republicans. In the 6th District where incumbent Democratic Rep. Will Coursey of Symsonia and a former staffer have sued each other, Coursey fended off Republican Keith Travis of Benton.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, credited his party’s success in holding its House majority to cooperation with Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear in negotiating difficult economic times since a severe national recession that began in 2008.
The Democratic House will have a Republican state Senate to work with for the upcoming 2015-17 term.