CN2's Nick Storm rounds up the latest candidate filings in the battle for the Kentucky state House, and the pattern that stands out is how many strong Democratic recruits are coming out of the woodwork to challenge Republican incumbents or fight for key open seats:
From CNHI News Service, via the Ashland (KY) Independent: "Before Tuesday’s special election in the 56th House District, Republicans touted it as a forerunner to the 2014 election when Republicans hope to seize majority control from the Democrats. After Democrat James Kay won fairly easily over Republican Lyen Crews and independent John-Mark Hack, it’s now Democrats who see the outcome as a favorable sign." National Republicans spent nearly $200,000 on their losing effort.
CNHI continues: "As part of their strategy Crews and the Republican Party used a favorite tactic of trying to link Kay to Democratic President Barack Obama and House Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, both of whom are unpopular in Kentucky. 'It didn’t work,' said Rep. Sannie Overly, D-Paris, the House Caucus Chairman. 'We’ll see if it works in 2014,' she added, smiling.
It was supposed to be a slam-dunk for the GOP: a low-turnout special election in a Democratic-held open seat that favored Mitt Romney by almost 17 points last fall. Throw in "more than $177,000" in out-of-state Republican spending, and you have what Louisville Courier-Journal columnist Al Cross calls the perfect "barometer" for Kentucky House races next fall, when Democrats will be defending a narrow 55-45 majority in the chamber.
Instead, Democrat James Kay, II won a decisive 10-point victory against two opponents in House District 56. Congratulations to Representative-elect Kay and the Kentucky House Democrats for a successful campaign!
If this special election really is a measure of pressure, then all of it must surely be on Republicans going into the next election. After spending almost $200,000 on what turned into a double-digit blowout, it's clear that Republicans either once again "lost on operations and tactics," or the GOP brand is now so toxic that it couldn't even save them in a 57% Romney district.
Kentucky GOP state Rep.