LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Kentucky Democrats not only failed to pick up suburban seats in last week’s election, they lost ground – especially in rural areas – further cementing the Republican party’s control of the state legislature.
On the latest episode of Uncovered, our news podcast, WDRB political reporter Lawrence Smith talks about the implications of the Republicans’ commanding super-majorities in the state House and Senate.
“You wonder if some things pertaining to education that were stalled before might get pushed through,” Smith says, referring to funding charter schools and other “school choice” measures.
Meanwhile, the decimation of their party outside of Kentucky’s cities leaves Democrats wrestling with whether to embrace their role as a minority of urban progressives in a predominantly rural state, or to find ways to appeal to conservative voters outside of Louisville and Lexington.
“There is a building … kind of battle over the soul of the Democratic party in Kentucky,” Smith says.
And, what does it all mean for the state’s “economic engine” of Louisville, where powerless Democrats are concentrated?
This podcast also includes interviews with State Rep. Kevin Bratcher, R-Fern Creek; House Minority Leader Joni Jenkins, D-Shively; Senate Minority Leader Morgan McGarvey; and Mary Ellen Wiederwohl, head of economic development for Louisville Metro government and a former business lobbyist in Frankfort.