Kentucky state executive races take shape in wake of primaries

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May 18, 2011


by David Godow

FRANKFORT, Kentucky:

Yesterday's state executive primaries are over and the results are in, though one race remains too close to call with 99.8 percent of precincts reporting. Turnout was low; only 10.34 percent of eligible voters cast ballots this primary cycle, with slightly higher participation in Monroe and Cumberland Counties.[1]

Check out Ballotpedia's full summary of results from yesterday's races here

Governor/Lt. Governor

The team of Senate President David Williams and Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer prevailed in the Republican gubernatorial primary, as expected. Williams and Farmer had enjoyed a consistent advantage in the polls, an edge that reached as much as 30 points in February. Their ticket benefited from strong name recognition and a fundraising advantage over their competitors.[2] Williams will face incumbent Democrat Steve Beshear in November's general election.

Williams and Farmer claimed a plurality of 48.22 percent of the votes, while their nearest competitors, Phil Moffett and Mike Harmon took 37.98 percent. Barbara Holsclaw and Bill Vermillion, Jr. were the choice of 13.80 percent of voters.

Secretary of State

The hopes of incumbent Democrat Elaine Walker were dashed on Tuesday by Lexington attorney Alison Lundergan Grimes, who had taken a commanding lead in fundraising early in primary season. Walker, a long-time mayor of Bowling Green, was appointed to fill the unexpired term of former Secretary of State Trey Grayson this January.[2]

On the Republican side, the race between former head of the U.S. Rural Utilities Service Hilda Legg and former Navy officer Bill Johnson remains too close too call as of 10:23PM yesterday, the last time results were updated. Johnson currently holds an advantage of just over a thousand votes, putting him at 50.42 percent of the vote to Legg's 49.58 percent.

State Treasurer

Democrat challenger Steve Hamrick was handed a stinging defeat by incumbent Todd Hollenbach. Hollenbach claimed 70.95 percent of the vote, leaving Hamrick only 29.05 percent. Hamrick had harshly criticized alleged incompetence and laziness in Hollenbach's office, claiming that his opponent had spent more time playing golf than Tiger Woods.[2]

Auditor of Public Accounts

In the Republican primary, developer John Kemper triumphed over his opponent, State Rep. Addia Wuchner, taking 57.27 percent of the vote to Wuchner's 42.73 percent.

Commissioner of Agriculture

In a crowded Democratic field, Robert Farmer defeated four other candidates to claim the Democratic nomination with 30.4 percent of the vote. His closest challenger was John Lackey, who took home 21.01 percent.

State Rep. Jamie Comer clinched the Republican nomination in a lopsided contest against Shelby County Judge-Executive Rob Rothenburger; Comer claimed almost exactly two-thirds of the vote.

See also


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