By Jacqueline Pitts, The Bottom Line
In the aftermath of a historic victory for House Republicans, the member who recruited the candidates that will now serve in the legislature starting in 2017 reflected on the races and how some wins came as a surprise even to the GOP.
Rep. Jonathan Shell, who played the key role in recruitment of Republican candidates for the 2016 cycle, said while he believed his caucus would take the majority, even he did not believe they would pick up quite as many seats.
“Whenever I would put the races down on paper or dry erase board or something and list them out, you know, I could get to about 57. I really could, I could get to about 57. But you know, you take counties like Henderson County, Marion County, Floyd County, some of these counties that traditionally have not voted for Senator McConnell, they didn’t vote for Matt Bevin when he ran for governor, they all went [Republican],” Shell said.
In terms of his biggest surprises, Shell said the loss of Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo was not necessarily one of them as the GOP spent a lot of time and money in his district.
Areas where the GOP experienced pickups they had not expected included seats where longtime incumbents like Reps. Brent Yonts, Hubie Collins, David Watkins and others experienced upsets and the Republicans had spent little to no money in the districts.
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