IN THE GAZETTE
Senate races shape up
So far, two reps interested in heading to upper chamber
Already, the ballot for next year’s Kentucky Senate elections is shaping up.
State Sen. Bob Leeper, I-Paducah, is the latest senator to say he won't run for re-election next year. He is chairman of the powerful Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee. Leeper has served in the Senate since 1990 and has been a Democrat and a Republican before becoming independent.
State Sen. Kathy Stein, D-Lexington, has been named to a judicial post (see item at right), leaving the 13th Senate District seat open.
In 2012, Thomas ran against state Rep. Robert Benvenuti III, R-Lexington, for the House District 88 seat that was left open when former state Rep. Bill Farmer, R-Lexington, declined to run. Benvenuti defeated Thomas by a vote of 12,959 to 11,054.
State Rep. Julie Raque Adams, R-Louisville, will run next year for the 36th Senate seat, now held by state Sen. Julie Denton, R-Louisville. Denton will not run for the Senate again and instead will seek a seat on the Louisville Metro Council.
In the 6th Senate District, state Rep. C.B. Embry, R-Morgantown, will challenge state Sen. Jerry Rhoads, D-Madisonville, who is majority whip. Rhoads has held the seat for a dozen years, and Embry was first elected to the House in 2002.
State Sen. Kathy Stine, R-Southgate, also has said she will not run next year. There is some speculation brewing that Julie Smith-Morrow, a Newport Democrat, may take another run at the office. Smith-Morrow, who sits on the Newport Independent School Board, ran in 2010, losing to Stine by a vote of 8,850 to 19,499.
The 19 even-numbered state Senate seats are on the ballot in 2014.
Stein named to the bench
Gov. Steve Beshear appointed Kathy W. Stein as circuit judge for the 22nd Judicial Circuit, Division 6.
The appointment fills a vacant Fayette County Family Court judgeship. Stein, a Lexington attorney, previously served in the General Assembly as a state senator and a representative.
“Sen. Stein’s extensive legal experience and long tenure in the Legislature demonstrate her commitment to public service, and she is well-qualified for the position of Family Court judge in Fayette County,” Beshear said in a press release.
The Family Court vacancy was created when Judge Jo Ann Wise retired in August.
The move leaves the 13th Senate District seat open.
Lexington lawyer Reggie Thomas, a Democrat, has said he will run for the Senate seat next year. He ran unsuccessfully for the open 88th District House seat last year, losing to another Lexington lawyer, Robert Benvenuti III.