Democrat Reggie Thomas is the winner in a special election in Kentucky’s 13th state senate district, which covers part of Lexington.

Thomas garnered just over 4,000 votes, besting runner-up Richard Moloney, an Independent, who got about 2,600 votes, according to unofficial results from the Kentucky State Board of Elections. Moloney serves as a Democrat on the Lexington City Council, but ran as an Independent after his party backed Thomas.

Republican Michael Johnson came in third place, with fewer than 1,000 votes.

In a statement congratulating him on his victory, Gov. Steve Beshear said that he looks forward to working with Thomas, an attorney and professor of social work and criminal justice at Kentucky State University.

Thomas will be sworn in in January. The seat was left vacant when Democrat Kathy Stein accepted an appointment to a judgeship.