Kentucky’s newest House member was sworn into office Tuesday on the opening day of the 2014 General Assembly session.
Representative Suzanne Miles of Owensboro was also appointed to serve on the House Agriculture, Judiciary, and State Government Committees.
“I’m excited about serving on these committees, and hope to utilize my background as a small business owner, an advocate for our farming community, and my passion for government to help move our Commonwealth forward,” said Rep. Miles.
Miles, a Republican, won a special election in December to serve the remaining term of former Representative John Arnold.
Miles' victory eroded the Kentucky Democratic Party’s margin of control in the House. The Democrats now have 54 seats against the Republicans’ 46.
The Kentucky Secretary of State has certified the results of last week's special election.
Official certificates of election were awarded by the office to Democrat Reggie Thomas, who won a race for Lexington's 13th Senate District, and Republican Suzanne Miles, who narrowly bested Democrat Kim Humphrey for the state House's 7th district seat.
Thomas got over 4,000 votes in his bid to replace Sen. Kathy Stein, who was appointed to a judgeship earlier this year. Miles, who is replacing former Rep. John Arnold, received nearly 3,550 votes—just 112 votes more than her opponent
Both elections were marked by low voter turnout, with 22 percent of eligible voters casting a ballot in the 13th District Senate race, and just 11 percent in the 7th House District race.
Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo doesn't think this week's Republican victory in a special election is a sign of waning Democratic power in the chamber.
Republican Suzanne Miles bested Democratic challenger Kim Humphrey by about a hundred votes in a special election to fill a vacancy in West Kentucky’s 7th District.
Miles’ victory erodes Democrats’ majority in the House down to 54 seats against the Republicans’ 46. And Stumbo says he doesn’t think any House Democrats will change parties to curry favor with a potential GOP majority.
“We might have a Republican or two that flips, but I don’t think you’re gonna see any Democrats that do it … And we congratulate Ms. Miles and look forward to serving with her. It’s [sic] a close race, hundred votes or so … and I expect that, I expect that, I don’t think there’ll be any changes either way.”
The seventh district seat opened up after Democratic Rep. John Arnold resigned during a growing sexual harassment scandal. Arnold won re-election in 2012 by just five votes.