The Latest: Wife loses bid to replace lawmaker who shot self

February 21, 2018

Linda Belcher, left, the Democratic candidate for the Kentucky House of Representatives representing the 49th District speaks with a supporter during a rally, Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2018, in Shepherdsville, Ky. Belcher, a former representative for the district is running in a special election being held Tuesday, to fill the seat that is now vacant following the suicide of the former representative, Dan Johnson, following his suicide in 2017. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. (AP) — The Latest on a special election to complete the remaining term of a Kentucky lawmaker who killed himself last year (all times local):

7:50 p.m.

The wife of a Kentucky lawmaker who killed himself last year after facing sexual assault allegations has lost a special election to fulfill the remainder of her husband’s term.

Unofficial results from the Bullitt County clerk’s office show Democrat Linda Belcher soundly defeated Republican Rebecca Johnson. Belcher won with 68.4 percent of the unofficial vote.

Republican Dan Johnson killed himself in December, days after the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting published an on-the-record account from a woman who said Johnson sexually assaulted her in his basement when she was a teenager.

Less than 24 hours after Johnson’s death, his wife announced she would run to replace him in the legislature. Rebecca Johnson said her husband was innocent, a victim of “an assault from the left.”

Belcher is a retired teacher and a former state legislator who held the seat for six years previously.


5 p.m.

A special election is being held in Kentucky to replace a legislator who killed himself after allegations surfaced from a woman who accused him of sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager.

Dan Johnson killed himself in December after adamantly denying the sexual assault allegations from the pulpit of his church. Johnson’s widow, Rebecca, is vying for the seat against former state Rep. Linda Belcher, a Democrat.

Rebecca Johnson has defended her husband and has said the allegations against him are not true.

Belcher held the seat before narrowly losing to Dan Johnson in 2016. She was first elected in 2008 when she replaced her husband on the ballot after he was killed in a car wreck.

Polls close at 6 p.m. EST.

Update hourly