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Republicans pad majorities in Kentucky Legislature

Kentucky Capitol

Republicans have added to their majorities in the Kentucky Legislature.

Initial results show the party growing their ranks from 75 to 80 seats in the 100-member House of Representatives and 30 to 31 seats in the 38-member Senate.

Democrats lost seats held by veteran legislators in both urban and rural parts of the state.

Following the defeat of incumbent Rep. Patti Minter by Republican Kevin Jackson in a Bowling Green-area House district, Democrats will have no representative in the Central Time Zone.

Prestonsburg Rep. Ashley Tackett Lafferty is now the only House Democratic member in eastern Kentucky after Whitesburg Rep. Angie Hatton lost to Republican Jacob Justice.

Democratic Rep. Buddy Wheatley, of Covington, narrowly lost reelection to Republican Stephanie Dietz.

And in the Louisville area, longtime Democratic Rep. Charles Miller was defeated by Jared Bauman.

Initial results show Democrats picking up one seat in the Lexington area: Lamin Swann defeated Republican Kyle Whalen in a newly drawn House District 93.

This is the first year legislative candidates ran under newly drawn political districts after the once-per-decade redistricting process. With supermajority control of both legislative chambers, Republicans were in control of the process for the first time in state history. Democrats sued, alleging that House and Congressional maps were drawn to favor Republican candidates.

The case is pending in Franklin Circuit Court.

Ryland Barton is the Managing Editor for Collaboratives for Kentucky Public Radio, a group of public radio stations including WKMS, WFPL in Louisville, WEKU in Richmond and WKYU in Bowling Green. A native of Lexington, Ryland most recently served as the Capitol Reporter for Kentucky Public Radio. He has covered politics and state government for NPR member stations KWBU in Waco and KUT in Austin.