Emerge Kentucky, the training program for Democratic women to run for office, had a noticeable impact on the 2018 elections in Kentucky, with 27 alumnae scoring victories at the polls.
Seven Emerge women were elected to the state House of Representatives:
- Nima Kulkarni, an immigration lawyer, will be the first Indian-American to serve in the Kentucky General Assembly. She won with 74% of the vote in her first run for public office.
- Tina Bojanowski, a public school teacher and first-time candidate, defeated a two-term Republican incumbent in Louisville/Jefferson County’s House District 32, flipping the seat from red to blue.
- Josie Raymond won her election for House District 31 in Louisville/Jefferson County with 60% of the vote.
- Maria Sorolis won her election for House District 48 in Louisville/Jefferson County, defeating a Republican incumbent.
- Patti Minter, a professor at Western Kentucky University, picked up the District 20 house seat in Warren County after winning a five-way contested primary.
- And, Attica Scott and McKenzie Cantrell of Louisville were both re-elected.
In addition, Emerge grads won a number of local races:
- Emerge alumna Beverly Chester-Burton made history by winning Mayor of Shively as the first African American elected to this position.
- Four judicial races were won, three in Jefferson County by Hon. Anne Delahanty, Tanisha Hickerson, and Hon. Jessica Moore, and one in Clark County by Cole Adams Maier.
- Dana Beasley-Brown, first-time candidate, won her election for City Commission of Bowling Green.
- Emerge alumnae also won five county-wide races in Grant, Hardin, Simpson, and Daviess counties: Tabatha Clemons (Grant County Clerk), Debbie Donnelly (Hardin County Clerk), Loretta Crady (Hardin Circuit Court Clerk), Beth Fiss (Simpson County Circuit Court Clerk), and Rachel Pence Foster (Daviess County PVA).
- In Louisville and Lexington, Emerge alumnae won seats on the city council including Angela Evans and Kathy Plomin in Lexington and Nicole George in Louisville.
Not only is Emerge increasing diversity in state and local government by helping to elect more women, they are also adding to racial diversity, as seven of this year’s Emerge winners are women of color.