Paul Walker Wins 1st District Democratic Race

May 22, 2018


An English professor at Murray State University has won the Democratic nomination in Kentucky's 1st Congressional District.

Walker said he didn't expect to win by such a large margin. He said going forward, his biggest challenge will be to compete with incumbent James Comer's campaign fundraising efforts as a sitting congressman.

"However, I think there are a lot of people who feel dissatisfied or abandoned in ways because of some of the things that have come through the federal government," Walker said. "So I think we can overcome those challenges, because people are hungry for change and I think that will make a difference."

Walker said he doesn’t want to lose the enthusiasm or the anger coming from teachers. "I think we can keep that alive, I don't think teachers are going to forget," Walker said.

Walker said along with education, healthcare and providing opportunities for jobs, he will focus his campaign efforts on the region's farmers. "We can push on the frustration of farmers in this district who aren't comfortable with the uncertainty of the farm bill that's still not voted on," Walker said.  

Alonzo Pennington said he will support Walker going forward.

"Our issues all along have been very similar and there's very little that we could differ on when it comes to issues," Pennington said. "I wish him all the luck, and I know he's got a major battle against Comer coming up."

Pennington said he would consider running again for a political office if he felt the job was right for him.

Earlier: Paul Walker defeated Alonzo Pennington in the Democratic primary on Tuesday. 

Walker will face Republican U.S. Rep. James Comer in the November general election.

Walker is a former U.S. Forest Service firefighter who says he is committed to "environmental justice." He supports a single-payer health care system and making medical marijuana legal. He supports the Dream Act in Congress, which would grant legal status some undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.

Comer is a former Kentucky state representative and state agriculture commissioner. He was first elected to Congress in 2016 and is running for re-election.

This post has been updated.