- Associated Press - Wednesday, January 6, 2016

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says it’s “inevitable” Republicans will take control of the Kentucky House of Representatives, the last legislative chamber in the South still controlled by Democrats.

McConnell spoke with reporters briefly Wednesday following a private meeting with newly-elected Republican Gov. Matt Bevin at the state Capitol. McConnell has the daunting task of trying to preserve the GOP majority in the U.S. Senate this fall. But he said he has been recruiting candidates for Kentucky’s state House elections for months and said he will be “as active as (Republicans) will like for me to be.”

“The shift in the House is inevitable, it’s just a question of time,” McConnell said.

Democrats have a 50-46 advantage in the House after four lawmakers resigned and two Democrats switched parties. Republicans have a majority in the state Senate but have not controlled the state House since 1920. Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo told The Courier-Journal the state Democratic Party is considering suing lawmakers who switched parties.

“There has been some discussion at the party level asking for litigation, asking for return of dollars, donations to the candidates that changed their party affiliation.” Stumbo told the newspaper. “The theory of fraud.”

McConnell said his meetings with lawmakers and potential candidates focused on convincing people to help change Kentucky. Bevin called Stumbo’s comments “embarrassing” and said they were embarrassing to him and his party.

“They smack of desperation that is frankly beneath even him,” Bevin said.

The Kentucky legislature convened Tuesday for the start of a 60-day session. Lawmakers are expected to craft a two year, $21.4 billion state spending plan, among other legislation.

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