Elections
2:09 pm
Mon November 5, 2012

Election Day 2012: Click Here for a Recap of Tuesday's Election Results from Our Listening Area

Election Day 2012 has come and gone. President Obama has won a second term in the White House, Republicans have held on to control of the U.S. House and made gains in the Senate--but not as big of a gain as they had hoped.

In Kentucky, the GOP picked up a U.S. House seat held by Ben Chandler and four Kentucky House seats, falling short of their goal to take control of that chamber for the first time since the 1920s.

Here's the latest election news:

Come-From-Behind Winner Donnelly Will Focus on Economy, Jobs, and Economy

Democrat Joe Donnelly pulled off what was once thought unthinkable: winning Indiana's U.S. Senate race over Republican Richard Mourdock. Now that he's moving from the U.S. House to the U.S. Senate, Donnelly sat down with the Indianapolis Star to talk about what he aims to accomplish when the next Congress is sworn in.

Five Votes Separates Candidates in Kentucky's 7th House District

It’s a common refrain during election times that “every vote counts.” A very real example of that is being seen in Kentucky’s 7th House district race, which was decided last night by just five votes.

With all votes in the district counted, Democratic incumbent John Arnold of Sturgis appears to have just barely held off Republican challenger Tim Kline, a Henderson lawyer. The five vote difference has led Kline to say he will consider asking for a recount.

Kentucky 7th House district covers all of Union County, and parts of Daviess and Henderson Counties. Arnold is a retired chiropractor who won his home county of Union by a large enough margin to offset Kline’s advantages in Daviess and Henderson. The race was one of a handful of state House contests in our listening area Republicans targeted in their effort to win control of the chamber. Arnold’s narrow win last night likely ensures the state GOP will target the seat the next time around.--Kevin Willis

NPR: For Obama, a Major Victory--But Does He Have a Mandate?

NPR has this look at President Obama's prospects for a successful second term in Washington.

Kentucky Turnout Predictions Fall Short

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes had predicted Kentucky's voter turnout Tuesday would be as high as 64%. But according to the Secretary of State's website,  about 59.2% of Kentucky's registered voters cast their ballots.

That's means of the state's 3,037,153 registered voters, 1,798,744 showed up at the polls Tuesday.

Here's a look at turnout in some counties of our listening area:

Taylor: 63.4%

Daviess: 62.6%

Warren: 61.7%

Barren: 59%

Henderson: 58.3%

Hart: 52.7%

Hardin: 56.4%

Pulaski: 45%

Logan: 42% (lowest turnout in the state)

Four More Years for Obama

News outlets, including NPR, have called the Presidential race for Barack Obama. He appears to have won Ohio, Iowa, Nevada, Wisconsin, and possibly Florida and Virginia.

Kentucky Democrats Maintain Control of State House

Kentucky Republicans have fallen well short of their goal of winning 10 seats and taking control of the state House. Overall, it was a great night for Kentucky Republicans, who narrowed their minority in the House.
And even though they remain the minority, GOP spokesman Joe Burgan says his party has reason to celebrate.

“And I think that when you factor in that we were outspent anywhere from 3 to 1 to 4 to 1 in some of these races, it says quite a bit about how fed up Kentuckians are with 91 years of Democrats in the state House", says Burgan.

But Democratic Attorney General Jack Conway says the fact that his party is still in control of the chamber is a testament to House Speaker Greg Stumbo.

“It looks like the state House numbers are going to be pretty good for Democrats and the Republicans were crowing about it, crowing about it, crowing about it and from what I see right now it looks like their crowing was premature.”

Overall, Republicans are looking at a likely net pickup of four seats, however the party is likely to ask for a recanvass in a few close races to try and increase that number.--Kenny Colston, Kentucky Public Radio
 

Three Incumbents Win Re-election to Bowling Green City Commission

Melinda Hill, Joe Denning, and Bill Waltrip will return for another term on the Bowling Green City Commission. The three incumbents will be joined by Rick Williams, who finished fourth in the voting. City Commissioner Brian "Slim" Nash finished fifth in the eight-way race. He told WKU Public Radio its too early to say whether he might seek office again.

Incumbent Mayor Bruce Wilkerson was unopposed in the election.---- Dan Modlin

Kentucky House Democratic Incumbents Hold On In Listening Area

A whole slew of numbers from key Kentucky House races are in.

7th Kentucky House in Union and parts of Daviess and Henderson Counties

Democratic incumbent John Arnold Jr. appears to have narrowly defeated his GOP challenger Tim Kline, 50%-49.9%.

13th Kentucky House in Owensboro

Democratic incumbent Jim Glenn looks to have held on to his Daviess County seat with a 50.8% to 49.2% win over Independent challenger Bill Barron.

24th Kentucky House in Casey, Marion, and part of Pulaski Counties

Democratic incumbent Terry Mills has beaten Republican challenger Bill Pickerill 59% to 40%.

So far, Democrats appear to be successfully fending off GOP efforts to take control of the Kentucky House.

Major Win for Democrats in Massachusetts

Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren has defeated Republican Senator Scott Brown. The race bas been called by NPR and a few other media outlets.

Major Win for Democrats in Indiana

NPR has just called Indiana's closely-watched U.S. Senate race for Democrat Joe Donnelly. He has defeated Republican Richard Murdouck, who was once leading polls there by double digits. It's a major pickup for Democrats, as they now have the seat once held by Republican Richard Lugar.

NBC and CBS: New Hampshire for Obama

The two news outlets say the Granite State has gone for President Obama for the second straight election.

Jody Richards Wins Big in Warren County

Dan Modlin tells us Rep. Jody Richards of Bowling Green has won re-election tonight, beating Republican Regina Webb by about 20%.

Obama Badgering Romney

News outlets are calling Wisconsin for President Obama.

Women for Obama, Men for Romney

If President Obama wins a second term, it will be because of big support from America's women. Numbers being mentioned by NPR's analysts show Obama winning the female vote tonight by around 10%.

Keystone State for Obama

CBS and FOX have both called Pennsylvania for President Obama.

Daviess County Area Numbers FINALLY Coming In

In Kentucky's 7th House race, which covers Union and parts of Daviess and Henderson counties:

(D) John Arnold, Jr: 59.7%

(R) Tim Kline 40.2%

This is one of the closely-watched Kentucky House races the GOP is hoping to turn red. So far, the Democratic incumbent is holding on.

NPR Calls Kentucky's 6th U.S. House Race for Andy Barr

Republican Andy Barr has defeated Democratic incumbent Ben Chandler in the state's 6th U.S. House race. That's a pickup for the GOP, which now holds five of the state's six House seats.

Kentucky House Race Update

Republicans need a net pickup of 10 seats tonight to take control of the Kentucky House for the first time in 91 years. Here are some key races we're watching in our listening area:

24th House Seat in Casey, Marion, and Pulaski Counties

(D) Terry Mills 82%

(R) Bill Pickerill 17%

27th House Seat in Bullitt, Hardin, and Meade Counties

(D) Jeff Greer: 53%

(R) Dalton Jantzen 46%

Kentucky U.S. House Republican Incumbents Going Back to Washington

Ed Whitfield, Brett Guthrie, and Hal Rogers are easily cruising to re-election tonight. Democrat John Yarmuth of Louisville is winning big in his race. Republican Thomas Massie appears set to win Kentucky's 4th House seat, formerly held by GOP Rep. Geoff Davis, and all eyes continue to focus on the 6th, where we have this update:

(R) Andy Barr leads (D) Ben Chandler 50%-47%.

Chandler and Barr Neck-and-Neck

With 13 of 19 counties reporting in Kentucky's 6th U.S. House race:

(R) Andy Barr: 48.9%

(D) Ben Chandler 48.2%

(I) Randolph Vance 2.7%

Presidential Prediction

One of NPR's analysts says exit polling indicates we could have an electoral college-popular vote split, with Romney winning the popular vote, but President Obama winning a second term on the basis of the electoral college.

This could be a VERY interesting night!

Barr Has Small Lead Over Chandler in Kentucky's 6th

6th U.S. House update, with 7 of 19 counties in:

(R) Andy Barr: 50.7%

(D) Ben Chandler: 46.6%

(I) Randolph Vance: 2.5%

Kentucky for Romney

The Bluegrass State has been called for Mitt Romney, who takes Kentucky's six electoral college votes. Romney currently leads President Obama 58%-41%. Indiana has also been called for Romney, as expected.

Romney Takes Indiana, Up in Kentucky

With 13 of Kentucky's 120 counties counted so far, Mitt Romney leads President Obama 51%-47%.

We're also keeping an eye on Indiana's high-profile U.S. Senate between Republican Richard Mourdock and Democrat Joe Donnelly. Donnelly leads early 50%-44%.

Kentucky's 6th U.S. House Update

With 6 of 19 counties in, Republican Andy Barr has 53% to Ben Chandler's 44%.

Barr Up Early Over Chandler in Kentucky's 6th U.S. House Race

With three of 19 counties fully reported, Republican challenger Andy Barr has 52.2% of the vote, with Democratic Rep. Ben Chandler holding 45.4%, and Independent candidate Randolph Vance with 2.2%.

This is the one Kentucky U.S. House race that has received national attention. Republican Thomas Massie is expected to win in Kentucky's 4th House seat, where he would take over from retiring GOP Rep. Geoff Davis.

WKU Public Radio Set to Start Airing Local, Statewide Election Results

When all of Kentucky's polls are closed at 6pm central time, we will start bringing you the numbers from the Secretary of State's website. Make sure you join us throughout the evening!

All Polls Set to Close Soon in Kentucky

Polls are closed in Kentucky's eastern time zone, and will close soon at 6pm central time in the rest of the state. Some numbers from the eastern time zone counties are starting to trickle in. WKU Public Radio's policy is not to release any poll numbers until all polling places in the state are closed.--Kevin Willis

Grimes: Kentucky On Pace for Record Voter Turnout

A spokeswoman for Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes says reports from throughout the state have the Secretary believing the Commonwealth will have record turnout by the close of polls at 6pm local time.--The Courier-Journal

What's Proper Voting Line Etiquette?

NPR has this really fun story about what some voters say is acceptable--and unacceptable--behavior while standing in line to vote. Should people talk politics while in line?

Heavy Voting Reported in Hoosier State Suburbs

Voters in some portions of central Indiana say they have waited for two hours or more to cast their ballots in today's presidential election. Counties that surround Indianapolis, in particular, have reported very heavy voting and a limited number of voting machines. In addition to the presidential election, voters in the Hoosier state are deciding a U-S Senate contest that is being closely watched nationally.--Dan Modlin

Rand Paul Not On Ballot, Spends Election Day Serving Up Cornbread

U.S. Senator Rand Paul of Bowling Green spent part of today serving up beans and cornbread at an annual fundraiser for the local Lion's Club. Lisa Autry met the Senator there, and has this story about whether Paul thinks Republicans have buyer's remorse about Tea Party-backed Senate candidates in Indiana and Missouri.

AP: Polling Places Throughout Kentucky See Steady, and Often Heavy, Turnout So Far

Kentucky voters flocked to the polls early and often Tuesday to choose a president, members of Congress and make decisions about a host of other offices down the ballot and a state constitutional amendment concerning the right to hunt and fish.

As the AP reports, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes has predicted a record number of voters will cast their ballots. On a cool, sunny Election Day, lines were common sights at polling places, with voters having to wait in Calloway County and people stacked up two-to-three deep at some precincts in Jefferson County.

UK Professor: Beware Exit Poll Predictions

Exit polling combined with the analytical powers of computers often offer accurate predictions, even in close races. However, University of Kentucky Political Scientist Stephen Voss sees some flaws with exit polling.

"Exit polls are a way to get the answers more quickly and we tend to be an inpatient society, it’s not surprising we do it," he says. "But, it’s a very vulnerable enterprise because you’re essentially taking a survey of a survey. You first sample places and then at the places, you’re attempting to survey the people walking out to see how they voted.”

A representative from the Kentucky Secretary of State’s office says the State Board of Elections doesn’t conduct exit polling. But Lynn Zellen says state statutes don’t prohibit the practice.--Kentucky Public Radio

Hoping for No Exiting Polling Debacles Tonight

The Poynter Institute reports the consortium of news organizations that sponsor the National Election Pool will enter a “quarantine room,” where they’ll look at data gathered via exit polls.

They hope to avoid awarding any state's electoral college votes to the wrong candidate.

WKU Public Radio Employee Reports Record Wait Time at Polling Place

WKU Public Radio's Operations Manager, John Campbell, says the longest it has ever taken him to vote in Logan County before today was 14 minutes. He says he waited in line 41 minutes this morning at Auburn Elementary before coming in to work. Looks like those predictions of high turnout are looking accurate!--Lisa Autry

For Some in Warren County, Up to Two Hour Wait to Vote

An employee in the Warren County Clerk's office just told WKU Public Radio that some voters in the Richpond and Rockfield areas have had up to two hour waits today. That same employee said waiting times at Potter Gray elementary were as short as 15 minutes.--Kevin Willis

Federal Election Monitors in Tennessee Looking for Voter ID Issues

It's not just the choice of candidates that is contentious this presidential election in Tennessee. Voting itself, and who gets to do it, has become such a hot issue that federal election monitors are in Memphis and Nashville watching the polls.

On the one side of the controversy, people concerned about voter fraud want more protections to ensure that only those qualified to vote cast ballots. That concern led to the state's new voter photo identification law and may have been behind a poll worker training in Nashville that taught workers how to challenge a voter's citizenship.

On the other side are those who see the photo ID law and similar measures as a pretext designed to keep the poor and those with limited resources from exercising their legitimate vote.--Associated Press

Things Picking Up at the Polls in Bowling Green-Warren County

Steve Briggs of Bowling Green tells WKU Public Radio he waited in line 90 minutes at his polling place at Richpond Elementary. The wait was "well worth it", he says.

WKU Public Radio's Lee Stott says he waited an hour to vote in Plum Springs.

And a Barren County listener tells us he waited in line 35 minutes to vote at Glasgow High School.--Kevin Willis

NPR's Election Night 2012 Headquarters

Ok, public radio political junkies--here's the holy grail for national political coverage. NPR's Mark Memmott is live-blogging the day and night away, and you can see a running tally of electoral college votes as they come in.

Kentucky Secretary of State Answering, Investigating Election Day Complaints

Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, in partnership with federal, state, and local law enforcement, is closely monitoring compliance with election laws.   The Secretary of State's Office issued this release:

“This year, I expanded the Task Force to include representatives from a broader group of election and law enforcement officials,” said Grimes, “but voters are the first step in ensuring our elections remain free and fair. I encourage anyone who witnesses questionable election-related activity to contact the State Board at 800-246-1399.”

Leading up to the November 6, 2012, General Election, the State Board received 14 calls regarding the election, including procedural questions, complaints regarding electioneering, and allegations of vote fraud and vote buying:

Calls       County                    Reason

1              Adair/Casey          Vote Buying

1              Bell                         Voting Machine

3              Jefferson               1 Procedural; 1 Vote Fraud; 1 Other

1              Knox                        Vote Buying

2              Meade                    1 Other; 1 Vote Buying

1              Oldham                  Other

1              Clinton                    Other

1              Kenton                    Other

2              Bullitt                       2 Other

1              Casey                     Electioneering

The State Board directly addresses with local election officials many of the complaints it receives, including procedural inquiries. Allegations of criminal misconduct are forwarded to the United States Attorney and/or Kentucky Attorney General for potential investigation. Neither the State Board nor the Attorney General provides details regarding specific complaints or possible pending investigations.--Lisa Autry

NPR: U.S. House and Senate Races to Watch Tonight

Check out NPR's analysis of toss-up Congressional races to watch this evening. For Republicans itching to regain control of the Senate, Tuesday's election presents a rare opportunity. Only 10 GOP incumbents are on the ballot, compared with nearly two dozen Democrats and independents who caucus with them.--Kevin Willis

Short Line, Long Wait Reported at One Bowling Green Polling Place

WKU Public Radio's Lisa Autry got in line this morning around 8am to vote at Drakes Creek Middle School. She says it took about 20-25 minutes to vote despite the fact there were only ten people in line ahead of her.

Clayton Miller says he got in line around 7:55am at Eastwood Baptist Church, cast his ballot, and walked out in about five minutes.--Kevin Willis

Kenny Colston: Kentucky House, Senate Races to Watch For Tonight

Kentucky Public Radio's Frankfort bureau reporter Kenny Colston has this awesome preview of key Kentucky House and Senate races that will help decide which party controls the two chambers come January.

Several of those important races are in our listening area, including many in the Owensboro-Daviess County region.--Kevin Willis

Nationally, Eyes on Indiana's U.S. Senate Race

What was once thought to be a Republican gimmee now looks increasingly like a Democratic pick-up. Republican Richard Murdouck beat longtime GOP Senator Richard Lugar earlier this year with the help of Tea Party supporters and fundraisers. Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly was thought by many to have no chance of winning the race. But a series of controversial remarks from Murdouck about compromise, rape, and abortion have given Democrats series hopes about flipping the Indiana Senate seat blue.

The Indianapolis Star's Matthew Tully has this article about ten events that have shaped Indiana's election.--Kevin Willis

Election Day is HERE

Election Day is on! Polls opened in Kentucky at 6 am local time. At a polling place in Glasgow, WKU Public Radio's Kevin Willis got in line around 5:55am. Twelve people were ahead of him, and a total of 20 people had lined up when the doors opened at 6:00. Kentuckians will see paper ballots that they'll fill out and then put in a scanning machine.--WKU Public Radio

NPR: Cast Your Vote on When You Think the Presidential Race Will be Decided

Check out this link to NPR's story where you can vote on what time of the night (or next day) you think the race for the White House will be called.

A Battle of "Bitterness" on Cable TV "News"

The New York Times has this wonderful article about the biased, almost unhinged approach to election news coverage employed by MSNBC and FOX news.

Ever Notice How Many Kentucky Democrats Vote for Republicans in Federal Races?

While registered Democrats still handily outnumber their GOP counterparts in Kentucky, the Bluegrass State is expected to go heavily for Republican Mitt Romney Tuesday, and is home to two of the most conservative U.S. Senators in the nation, as well as Republican House members Ed Whitfield, Brett Guthrie, Geoff Davis, and Hal Rogers.

WKU Public Radio recently explored this political phenomenon with former Barren County Rep. and House Speaker Bobby Richardson, and former Bowling Green Mayor Patsy Sloan.

Candidates Make Final Push in Kentucky's Most Hotly-Contested U.S. House Race

Democratic U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, in a tight race with Republican challenger Andy Barr, tried to shirk President Barack Obama's shadow during the final full day of campaigning ahead of the general election Tuesday.

Both candidates mobilized their get-out-the-vote efforts, hoping to tip the race. In the contentious rematch for the 6th District seat, the two have spent some $4 million, with most of that going to mean-spirited TV ads that have been running around-the-clock since late summer.

The Chandler-Barr matchup has been Kentucky's most high-profile race, though voters in the state also will make their choices for president, state legislators, local judges and prosecutors. They'll also decide whether to make hunting a constitutional right, and weigh in on five other congressional races across the state, none of which are considered competitive.

Chandler's race is different. Barr and his Republican supporters have built the race almost entirely around Obama, an unpopular political figure in Kentucky. They have painted Chandler as the president's surrogate, particularly on coal issues, and it's a portrayal that Chandler rejects.

Despite having softened his tone over the past two weeks, Chandler referred to Barr on Monday as an ideologue who would only add to the gridlock in Washington. Chandler said Kentucky needs an independent voice in Washington.--Associated Press

Bowling Green Daily News: High Turnout Predicted for Tuesday

The Bowling Green Daily News reports Warren County Clerk Dot Owens said she predicts turnout in the county between 70 percent and 75 percent. Last week, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes predicted a statewide turnout between 62 percent and 64 percent.

Messenger-Inquirier: Owensboro Area Turnout Will Be High

The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer reports Daviess County Clerk David Osbourne is predicting 68%-72% voter turnout Tuesday.

Jefferson County Democrat Could be Thrown Off Ballot, Impacting Control of House

A lawsuit questioning the residency of Democratic State Rep. Dennis Horlander is seeking to provide a surprise boost to the GOP’s goal of taking control of the state House. The lawsuit claims that Horlander, who represents a district in the Shively area, doesn’t even in live in Jefferson County.

If a judge agrees, Horlander would be thrown off the ballot.

With no third party or GOP-nominated candidates challenging Horlander this year, that leave write-in James Howland as the only other candidate who could fill the seat.

The deadline to file as a write-in candidate has passed. In a phone interview, Howland says he’s been a Republican for 20 years.  Bringing charter schools to Kentucky would be Howland's priority, if he takes office.

“And so I would want to be on the education committee, that’s something that I would really want to do,” he said.

Howland said Republican leaders have contacted him since the lawsuit was filed.

But he said he's ready to serve, even if his candidacy was originally more of an experiment than reality.

“Well, if that were to become the case I would do it, I wouldn’t make any promises that it wouldn’t take me a moment to get my bearings and figure out what to do," Howland said. "I’d have to get some advice from some people, and I might even have to talk to Mr. Horlander to figure out what to do next."

A hearing on Horlander’s residency has yet to be set.--Kenny Colston

Study Your Ballot!

Kentucky voters, it's not too late for you to check out what your ballot will look like. You can find ballots from every Kentucky county here, courtesy of the Secretary of State's website.--Kevin Willis

Grimes: Kentucky Needs to Adopt Early-Voting Plan

Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia allow no-excuse early voting, but Kentucky isn't one of them. Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes says early voting has its advantages.

"As you see in other states, the participation is raised," says Grimes. "I, as chief advocate of public engagement, am in favor of making all eligible Kentuckians' voices heard and believe it's worth exploring with members of our General Assembly who set our election law. But we've got to keep in mind our county clerks.  We don't want to put an unfunded mandate on them."

Right now, Kentucky only allows absentee voting with a valid excuse such as age, disability, military service, or a work-related excuse. The commonwealth is surrounded by states that offer no-excuse early voting, and Secretary Grimes supports having the General Assembly consider changing state law. 

Opponents fear the impact early voting could have on the integrity of elections.--Lisa Autry

Stumbo: Hunting Amendment Likely to Pass Big

House Speaker Greg Stumbo is predicting a wide margin of victory for the only constitutional amendment on the ballot. The amendment was proposed by Stumbo and sailed through the General Assembly easily in 2011.

It would put the right to hunt and fish as a permanent right in Kentucky’s Constitution. Stumbo told WHAS radio host Mandy Connell that Tennessee passed the bill by an overwhelming margin and predicts Kentucky to do the same.

“ (Tennessee passed) by about 90 percent, and we’re a lot like Tennessee when it comes to that issue," said Stumbo, a Democrat.

No groups are actively opposing the amendment.--Kenny Colston

Lots of Eyes on Daviess County Races Tuesday Night

The Daviess County region will be one of the most closely watched Tuesday in Kentucky, as Republicans hope to win control of the state House for the first time in 91 years.

Democrat John Arnold has represented the 7th House District that covers Union and parts of Daviess and Henderson counties, since 1995. Arnold isn’t used to competition in November—in fact, he hasn’t had a general election opponent since 2004. But he’s got an opponent now in the form of Republican lawyer Tim Kline, who has the backing of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.  

It’s a seat the GOP will likely have to flip if they have any chance of taking control of the Kentucky House Tuesday night.

Also up for grabs is the 13th House District in Owensboro, held by Democrat Jim Glenn since 2007. Glenn’s opponent isn’t a Republican, but instead Independent candidate Bill Barron, a commercial real estate developer who says he’ll caucus with Republicans if he wins.

Democratic voters outnumber Republicans 2-1 in the district, but Owensboro has been moving to the right, electing a Republican state Senator and several county officers in recent years.--Kevin Willis

Kentucky House: Who Will Run the Show?

Kentucky Republicans haven’t tried to keep secret the fact they want to win control of the state House for the first time since the early 1920’s. To do so, the GOP needs a net gain of ten House seats. Here's a quick look at some of the races in our region that could decide which party controls the Kentucky House come January:

*Democrat Martha Jane King has represented the 16th House District since 2009. That seat covers Logan and Todd Counties in southern Kentucky. King is being challenged by Republican Chris Hightower, the Tea Party-backed former campaign manager of Senator Rand Paul. Hightower has advertised heavily throughout the district in an effort to unseat King.

*Another competitive race is in the 24th House district, covering Casey, Marion, and part of Pulaski Counties. Democrat Terry Mills has held the seat for two years after winning a special election. He now faces a strong challenge from Republican Bill Pickerill, a native of Marion County, the most populous county in the district. The 24th House seat has been a prime target for Republicans, who see a chance to flip a seat in a district where there are more registered Republicans than Democrats.

*Bowling Green’s Jody Richards is facing his first contested general election since 1990. The Warren County Democrat has the distinction of serving as House Speaker longer than anyone in state history, from 1995 to 2009. Richards is facing a challenge from Republican Regina Webb, a local hair salon and spa owner, who has run TV ads accusing Richards of contributing to what she calls reckless spending in Frankfort. Still, Richards hasn’t taken Webb for granted, outspending her about four to one in the race.

*In Kentucky’s 27th district House race, Democratic incumbent Jeff Greer is hoping to fend off Republican Dalton Jantzen for the second election in a row. Two years ago, Greer beat Jantzen by only 128 votes. That seat covers Meade and parts of Hardin and Bullitt Counties.--Kevin Willis