2022 primary election analysis: state House and Senate races
This election season, many county elected officials are up for re-election, but they aren’t alone on the ballot. Kentucky’s 2022 primary election is on May 17, and the ballot will also include the entire state House, re-elected every two years, and half of the Senate with staggered terms between odd and even-numbered districts.
This year the even-numbered districts are up. In January, legislators passed redistricting maps to meet their constitutional duty after the decennial census was released. The 2022 election will be the first election in which candidates will run in their new districts. To see which House and Senate district that you live in and how it has changed from the previous map, click here.
All 100 House districts are up for election this year.
Currently, 32 seats are unopposed in both the primary and general election, 29 of which are incumbents. For the three seats without an incumbent running, the candidates are: Robert Duvall (HD-17), Beverly Chester-Burton (HD-44) and Nick Wilson (HD-82). Of these 32 seats, 26 are Republicans and six are Democrats.
The 29 incumbents with no opposition in either the primary or the general election include the following:
- Republicans: Randy Bridges (HD-3), Mary Beth Imes (HD-5), Chris Freeland (HD-6), Suzanne Miles (HD-7), Josh Calloway (HD-10), Scott Lewis (HD-14), Jason Petrie (HD-16), Michael Meredith (HD-19), Shawn McPherson (HD-22), Steve Riley (HD-23), Nancy Tate (HD-27), Killian Timoney (HD-45), Thomas Huff (HD-49), Jennifer Decker (HD-58), Kim Banta (HD-63), Josh Bray (HD-71), Matt Koch (HD-72), Mark Hart (HD-78), David Meade (HD-80), Deanna Frazier Gordon (HD-81), Josh Branscum (HD-83), Derek Lewis (HD-90) John Blanton (HD-92) and Patrick Flannery (HD-96).
- Democrats: Tina Bojanowski (HD-32), Lisa Willner (HD-35), Nima Kulkarni (HD-40), Keturah Herron (HD-42), and Ruth Ann Palumbo (HD-76),
Another 19 seats have a primary opponent but no general election opponent. Of these 19, 14 are Republican candidates and five are Democratic candidates.
Currently Republicans hold a supermajority in the House, 75-25.
Primary races to watch:
- District 12 (Crittenden, McLean, Union, Webster): Redistricting resulted in incumbents Lynn Bechler and Jim Gooch running against each other in the Republican primary. The winner will face Democrat Alan Lossner in the general election.
- District 21 (Adair, Cumberland, Metcalfe, Monroe): Ten-year veteran Bart Rowland’s retirement leaves this seat open. The Republican primary has attracted five candidates: Jimmy Carter, Terry Dubree, Joshua Ellis, Daniel Glass and Amy Neighbors. The winner is unopposed in the general election.
- District 36 (part of Jefferson): Jerry Miller’s retirement after four terms leaves this seat open. The Republican primary has attracted three candidates: Richard Crawford, John Hodgson and David Howser. The winner is unopposed in the general election.
- District 91 (Estill, Madison, Powell): This seat is currently held by freshman Bill Wesley, who has a Republican primary opponent, Darrell Billings. The winner will face Democrat Martina Jackson in the general election.
- District 97 (Johnson, Martin, Pike): Redistricting resulted in incumbents Bobby McCool and Norma Kirk McCormick running against each other in the Republican primary. The winner is unopposed in the general election.
Even-numbered Senate districts are up for election this year. Similar to the House, about half of the districts up for election will likely be decided after the primary, barring additional candidates filing for the general election.
Currently, seven seats are unopposed in both the primary and general election, five of which are incumbents. For the remaining two seats without an incumbent running, the candidates are Gary Boswell (SD-8) and Matthew Deneen (SD-10). Among these seven seats without opposition, six are Republicans and one is a Democrat. The sole incumbent Democrat running unopposed is Robin Webb (SD-18) who served in the House for ten years before successfully running for her Senate seat in 2008.
The four Republican incumbents with no opposition include the following: Danny Carroll (SD-2), Jimmy Higdon (SD-14), Ralph Alvarado (SD-28) and Mike Wilson (SD-32).
Another three Senate seats have a primary opponent but no general election opponent, all of which are Republican primaries.
Currently Republicans hold a supermajority in the Senate, 30-8.
Primary races to watch:
- District 20 (Boone, Carroll, Franklin, Gallatin, Kenton, Owen): Paul Hornback’s retirement leaves this seat open. The Republican primary has attracted four candidates: Phyllis Sparks, Calen Studler, Mike Templeman and Gex Williams. The winner of the primary will face Teresa Barton in the general election.
- District 22 (Fayette, Garrard, Jessamine): This seat is currently held by Donald Douglas, who won the special election in November 2021 to replace Sen. Tom Buford after he passed away unexpectedly. Douglas faces Andrew Cooperrider in the Republican primary. The winner of the primary will face Democrat Chuck Eddy in the general election.
- District 24 (Bracken, Campbell, Kenton, Pendleton): Two-term Senate Republican Wil Schroder’s retirement leaves this seat open. The Republican primary has attracted three candidates: Shelley Funke Frommeyer, Jessica Neal and Chris Robinson. The primary winner will face Democrat Rene Heinrich in the general election.