AP news guide: Nov. 6 general election in Kentucky

November 7, 2018

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The blue wave missed Kentucky on election night, with Republicans maintaining their majorities in the state legislature and winning a competitive congressional race in the central part of the state.

Here are some of the key races:


Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Barr survived a fierce challenge from Democrat Amy McGrath, a retired Marine fighter pilot. McGrath raised about $3 million more than Barr during the campaign, but she did not spend it on traditional attack ads. Barr did, flooding the airwaves with ads depicting McGrath as “too liberal for Kentucky.” It was enough for Barr to keep his seat in the conservative district on a night when Democrats picked up seats across the country.


Democratic Rep. John Yarmuth will remain the state’s lone voice of dissent among Kentucky’s GOP-dominated delegation. Vickie Yates Glisson surprised people in January when she resigned as secretary of the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services to challenge Yarmuth. But Yarmuth easily won the race with 62 percent of the vote in the heavily Democratic district.


At least 36 current or former educators ran for seats in Kentucky’s state legislature, but most of them lost. One Republican incumbent lost to a Democratic teacher candidate, while another GOP lawmaker trailed a college professor by just one vote. In total, at least 10 teachers were elected, including four Republicans. But the “blue wave” Democrats had hoped for failed to materialize as Republicans maintained their majorities in the state House and Senate.


Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis went to jail in 2015 for refusing to issue marriage licenses after same-sex marriage became legal. Now, she’s out of a job. Voters elected Democrat Elwood Caudill Jr. with 54 percent of the vote.


Kentucky voters overwhelmingly approved an amendment to the state’s Constitution to guarantee rights for crime victims, including the right to be notified of and present for most court proceedings. But the results will be on hold. That’s because a state judge ruled the question on the ballot is unconstitutionally vague. The ruling is being appealed, but a final decision won’t come until after the election. That means Tuesday’s votes were counted, but state officials will wait to certify the results.


Voters promoted Court of Appeals Judge Debra Hembree Lambert to the Kentucky Supreme Court. Circuit Court Judge Dan Ballou had an endorsement from Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, but it wasn’t enough to defeat Lambert, who won with 67 percent of the vote. Lambert will replace retiring Justice Daniel Venters in the district, which includes 27 counties in southern and south-central Kentucky.


Kentucky’s two largest cities elected mayors on Tuesday. In Louisville, Democrat Greg Fischer won a third term over Republican Angela Leet. In Lexington, former Vice Mayor Linda Gorton defeated former Police Chief Ronnie Bastin in a nonpartisan race.


For AP’s complete coverage of the U.S. midterm elections: http://apne.ws/APPolitics

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