Politics

Update 12:20 a.m.: Clinton “Unofficial” Winner Of Kentucky Primary

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has unofficially won the Kentucky presidential primary by fewer than 2,000 votes. She will split Kentucky’s 55 delegates with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Despite heavily campaigning in the state in recent weeks, Clinton did not put up big numbers like she did in the 2008 primary. That year she took 65 percent of the vote over then-candidate Barack Obama.

In an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer Tuesday Evening, Kentucky Secretary of State Allison Lundergan Grimes said, “I do believe that based on what we are seeing coming in, that Kentucky will remain in a win column for the Clintons.”

Sanders swept coal country in Eastern Kentucky by wide margins but Clinton took the populous metropolitan areas of Louisville, Lexington and Northern Kentucky. — Ryland Barton

Update 8:30 p.m.: District 8 Voters Choose Coan 

Brandon Coan wins the Louisville Metro Council District 8 race with just more than 24 percent of the total vote. –Jacob Ryan

Update 8:13 p.m.: Metro Council Results Are In

Shane Ranschaert won the Louisville Metro Council District 14 Republican primary by just four votes over Eric Bullock.

Ranschaert, 21, will go on to face incumbent Cindi Fowler in November’s general election. Fowler did not have a challenger in Tuesday’s primary.

In District 4, Democrat Barbara Sexton Smith took an early lead and never looked back. She took nearly 70 percent of the votes to defeat Bryan Burns and Marshall Gazaway. Smith, the former head of the Fund for the Arts, will likely replace councilman David Tandy in November.

No Republicans entered the race and Tandy announced last year he’d not seek reelection.

Incumbent David James beat challenger Carol Clark in the Democratic primary for Louisville Metro Council District 6. James took about 60 percent of the vote.

Louisville Metro Council District 2 incumbent Barbara Shanklin will likely retain her seat. She defeated Rasean Crawley, Caroline Grundy and Richard Harrison with 47 percent of the vote. –Jacob Ryan

Update 8:08 p.m.: Comer Wins Republican Nomination, Will Take On Newcomer Sam Gaskins In November 

Former Agriculture Commissioner James Comer has secured the Republican nomination for the 1st District congressional seat. In the general election he’ll take on political newcomer Sam Gaskins, a veteran and former tobacco farmer.

Former Republican Congressman Ed Whitfield has held the seat since 1994 but decided to not seek reelection.

Initial reports show that Comer won the district with 67 percent of the vote. Whitfield’s district manager Mike Pape took about 20 percent. –Ryland Barton

Update 7:20 p.m.: Gray Clinches Dem. Nomination, Will Face Paul In The General Election 

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray has locked up the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate. He’ll challenge incumbent Sen. Rand Paul in the general election.

Gray’s main opponents in the primary were former Frankfort commissioner and environmentalist Sellus Wilder and Brandenburg physician’s assistant Ron Leach.

Initial reports show Gray taking over 60 percent of the vote statewide with Wilder and Leach each taking about 10 percent. —Ryland Barton

Update 7:10 p.m.: Clinton and Sanders Are Neck And Neck, Paul Easily Wins Nomination To Senate 

Polls have closed in both time zones for the Kentucky primary election and results are starting to trickle in.

In the presidential race, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are in a neck and neck race as votes are slowly counted and reported across the state.

Sen. Rand Paul has easily secured the nomination for his Senate seat, he was challenged by political newcomers Steve Slaughter of Louisville and Jim Gould of Lexington.

Longtime incumbent Rep. Hal Rogers has breezed to another primary victory, this one over John Burk of Somerset. First elected in 1980, Rogers has no opponent in the general election.

In a Louisville state House Democratic primary, former Metro Councilman Dan Johnson has conceded to attorney McKenzie Cantrell. Cantrell will take on incumbent Rep. Denny Butler, who switched his party affiliation from Democrat to Republican after the election of Gov. Matt Bevin.

Pastor Nancy Jo Kemper has won the Democratic nomination for the 6th Congressional District over Lexington engineer Geoff Young. She’ll face Republican incumbent Rep. Andy Barr.

Polls are closed all around the state. —Ryland Barton

Clinton takes a slight edge over Sanders with 4.6% precincts reporting.

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray is doing very well in his hometown, as expected.

It’s very early, but results are beginning to come in.

Update 4:47 p.m.: Primary Day Voter Turnout Looks Predictably Low 

Polls are still open in the Kentucky primary election until 6 o’clock. Voter turnout is expected to be low and rain across the state probably didn’t help get people out to the polls.

It’s a quiet day at Morton Middle School in Lexington. Local election official David Cupps says Republican turnout was low at his polling location — possibly because Republicans already voted for president in March.

“It does look like Republican turnout is lighter than Democratic turnout and it was very slow first thing this morning, so the rain probably did cut down on the turnout,” he said.

Cupps said he still expected his location’s participation rate to be higher than the statewide prediction of 20 percent.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders are battling over Kentucky’s 55 delegates. But the real reward will be momentum going into the larger California and New Jersey primaries on June 7.

Lexington resident Paul Winther said he voted for Bernie Sanders, even though he recognizes he’s a long-shot for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“Even though many of his goals might not be attained, at least he’s putting those kinds of ideas in the minds of people, and I think it’s very very important.”

Retired teacher Sonia Fox voted for Hillary Clinton, citing the former secretary of state’s foreign policy experience.

“I think some of the world leaders think a lot of her,” she said. “I think she’s very savvy.”

Fox said she agreed with many of Sanders’ ideas but found proposals like making state college tuition free to be unrealistic.

“I appreciate his thinking but it’s not realistic when you see the way the political machine operates,” she said. —Ryland Barton