A rookie Democrat will represent Woodford, Franklin, and Fayette counties in Frankfort.
The election of attorney James Kay also maintains his party’s majority in Kentucky’s lower house.
Kay defeated Republican Lyen Crews and Independent John Mark Hack. The Kay, 30, believes his youth was an advantage.
“The first thing that I can say is youth is an advantage. You know, I haven’t been jaded by the political process. You know I have experience working together in the community and helping people and trying to make a difference,” Kay said.
Kay based his campaign partly on public education.
“We need to make sure that our public education is preparing our children for the jobs of the 21st century. With legislation and ideas for funding for things like the iPad initiative which happens at Woodford County High Schools where children don’t read from books, they have iPads where they can learn things that will be helpful and useful in the 21st century economy,” Kay said.
He’s taking the seat of Carl Rollins, who left the House to to lead the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority and the Kentucky Higher Education Student Loan Corporation.
Rollins was also chairman of the House Education Committee.
Republican backers viewed this special election as an opportunity to erode Democratic control in the Kentucky House. But Crews says he couldn’t overcome opposition from both Kay and Hack, who once served in the Patton Administration.
“Well, I think I had two Democrats working against one Republican and maybe, if the independent wasn’t in the race, the outcome would have been a little different,” said Crews.
The political makeup of the Kentucky house will remain 55 Democrats and 45 Republicans. This is a light year in Kentucky politics, with the next general election in 2014.