Control of Ky. state government hinges on Tuesday's special elec - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Control of Ky. state government hinges on Tuesday's special election

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Tuesday could be the most significant election day in Kentucky in recent history.

The results of four special elections could change the direction of state politics.

The math is simple.

If Republicans manage to sweep the four vacant seats up for grabs on Tuesday, they could win effective control of the State House for the first time in almost a century.

Democrats have been in the majority in the chamber since 1922, but that could change on Tuesday.

Democrats hold the House by a slim 50-46 margin. On Tuesday, voters in four districts across the state will fill vacant House seats. If Republicans sweep, the House has a 50-50 split.

But with one Democrat, Tom McKee of Cynthiana -- out for this session after heart surgery -- Republicans would have effective control, 50-49.

“It could change the way business is done in Frankfort. You could see a wholesale change in leadership in the House of Representatives,” political consultant Bob Gunnell told WDRB News.

Gov. Matt Bevin's Twitter feed reveals the importance of the election.

He's posted four videos pushing the four GOP candidates.

Two of the vacancies were created by Bevin himself, when he appointed Democratic House members to state jobs.

“I need the votes in the House. I need the votes in Frankfort that will allow us to do the things that people want to see done in Kentucky,” said Bevin on Saturday.

But Democrats will not go down without a fight. State chair Rep. Sannie Overly (D-Paris) saying on KET, they're making the governor and his proposed budget cuts the key issue.

“I think that education really is the forefront of these elections. Because we are already seeing with the new governor being installed for really just a few short weeks, the reign of terror that will come down on public education in our state,” Overly told KET’s Bill Goodman.

The outcome could all come down to one factor: turnout.

“It's who shows up at the polls. I know that's an old adage, but in this case it's very, very true,” said Gunnell.

Even if Democrats hold their ground on Tuesday, Republicans believe they have an even better chance to take the House in November.

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