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Overview of the candidate filings

The filings are in, and the analysis begins! Here are some stats and other things to know.

2 min read

The deadline to file for this year’s election was Friday, January 5th, at 4 PM. Once that passed, we could look at all the races and see just what is coming this year.

Before I get into the stats and stuff, let me note that if you want to see the entire list of races and candidates, you can go to this page in Election Central. Remember, though, Election Central is only open to paying members – so if you aren’t a paying member, now would be a good time to become one!

Open Seats

This election, there are 16 seats where the incumbent is not running. Here’s the list:

KY Senate

  • Whitney Westerfield (R-3)
  • John Schickel (R-11)
  • Damon Thayer (R-17)
  • Denise Harper Angel (D-35)

KY House

  • Jonathan Dixon (R-11)
  • Brandon Reed (R-24) – resigning to become executive director of the KY Office of Agricultural Policy
  • Russell Webber (R-26) – resigned to become Assistant State Treasurer
  • Kevin Bratcher (R-29) – running for Metro Council
  • Josie Raymond (D-41) – running for Metro Council
  • Keturah Herron (D-42) – running for KY Senate
  • Derrick Graham (D-57)
  • Steve Rawlings (R-66) – running for KY Senate
  • Rachel Roberts (D-67)
  • Ruth Ann Palumbo (D-76)
  • Jacob Justice (R-94)
  • Danny Bentley (R-98)


  • Total seats in election: 125 (Congress 6, KY House 100, KY Senate 19)
  • Incumbents with no challenger at all: 44 (35 Republicans, 9 Democrats)
  • Incumbents with only a primary: 19 (14 Republicans, 5 Democrats)
  • Open seats with only a primary: 3 (1 Repub seat, 2 Dem seats)
  • Open seats with only one person filing: 5 (4 Republican, 1 Democrat)
  • Seats actually contested by both parties: 54 (43%)

Interesting notes

  • Ruth Ann Palumbo’s son, Jamie, is running for her seat now that she is retiring.
  • Morgan McGarvey has a primary challenger (Jared Randall) in KY-03.
  • Eric Deters is challenging Thomas Massie once again.
  • Five Dems are running in the primary to face Andy Barr.
  • Kevin Bratcher’s seat in the House has drawn a lot of interest, with three Repubs and three Dems all throwing their hats into the race.
  • Mary Lou Marzian is running again, to take Josie Raymond’s seat. But, there is another Dem, Rick Adams, running against her in the primary, and Sara-Elizabeth Cottrell is waiting in the general.
  • Debbie Wesslund, who served on the JCPS School Board from 2007 to 2014, is running to face Ken Fleming, but she will have to get past Kate Farrow in the primary first.
  • Matthew Lehman, who ran against Thomas Massie in 2022, is running for Rachel Robert’s House seat in northern Kentucky. He’ll face one of three Repubs in the general.
  • And, Attica Scott is running against Gerald Neal in the primary for KY Senate 35. Neal is also facing Michael Churchill in that primary.


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Bruce Maples

Bruce Maples has been involved in politics and activism since 2004, when he became active in the Kerry Kentucky movement. (Read the rest of his bio on the Bruce Maples Bio page in the bottom nav bar.)

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