- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 22, 2018

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Political newcomer Amy McGrath rode her fighter pilot past to victory in a key Democratic congressional primary, while a top leader in the state legislature was ousted by a school teacher in Kentucky’s primary election on Tuesday. And in a county clerk race, a gay Rowan County man was denied the chance to run against Kim Davis, the incumbent who refused to give him a marriage license in 2015.

Here’s a look at some key outcomes across the state:


McGrath, a former fighter pilot, defeated Lexington’s mayor, Jim Gray, and four other opponents in the Democratic primary in Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District.

McGrath, who flew dozens of combat missions during her long career in the Marine Corps, faces a much tougher political mission in the fall campaign against Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Barr.

Republican Donald Trump carried the district in 2016, but Democrats see it as their best chance to gain another seat in the Bluegrass State. The district, a mix of rural and urban areas, stretches from the Appalachian foothills to bluegrass country in and around Lexington, and has swung between Democratic and Republican representation for decades.

Barr easily defeated challenger Chuck Eddy in Tuesday’s Republican primary. The conservative congressman is seeking a fourth term.

In the Louisville-area 3rd District, the state’s former top-ranking health official, Vickie Yates Brown Glisson, won a three-way Republican primary. Glisson will now challenge U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, the only Democrat in Kentucky’s congressional delegation.

Elsewhere across Kentucky, Democrats nominated candidates who will be prohibitive underdogs against four Republican congressmen in November.


State Rep. Jonathan Shell, the majority leader of the Kentucky House, was toppled by high school math teacher Travis Brenda. Brenda pointed to a surge of teacher support for the win. The upset follows a turbulent legislative session marked by massive education rallies at Kentucky’s Capitol to protest pension changes and demand more education spending.

Democrats in the minority in the legislature are hoping Shell’s ouster points to the start of a comeback. Dozens of other teachers are mounting challenges in November, mostly as Democrats running against Republican legislative incumbents.

Shell lost his seat after playing a role in writing a new state law that put all future teachers into a hybrid pension system.

Three other House incumbents lost on Tuesday - Republican Reps. Wesley Morgan and Tim Couch and Democratic Rep. Dennis Horlander.


Republican county clerk Kim Davis won’t face a general election challenge from a gay man who was denied a marriage license in her office three years ago.

David Ermold lost in a four-way Democratic primary for the job as Rowan County clerk.

Instead, Davis will be challenged by Elwood Caudill Jr. In 2014, Davis defeated Caudill for the Democratic nomination by 23 votes. Davis has since switch her party affiliation to the GOP.

Ermold and his now-husband were one of several gay couples who tried to get licenses from Davis after an historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Davis declared that “God’s authority” prevented her from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. She spent days in jail after a judge ordered her to issue the licenses.


The general election contest for a seat on the Kentucky Supreme Court will pit a state Court of Appeals judge against a circuit court judge.

Debra Hembree Lambert and Daniel Ballou emerged from a three-way primary in the nonpartisan race. The two candidates with the most votes advance to the November election.

Lambert, a member of the state Court of Appeals, received nearly twice as many votes as Ballou, a circuit judge for McCreary and Whitley counties. Circuit Court Judge David Tapp finished a close third behind Ballou.

The Supreme Court seat is currently held by Justice Daniel J. Venters, who is retiring at the end of his current term. The district includes parts of southern and south-central Kentucky.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide