GOP Candidates Continue to Enter Fray For Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr’s Senate Seat

Updated: There are now three Republicans and one Democratic candidate setting their sights on replacing Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr, R-Lexington, in the state Senate in 2022.

Readers of Kentucky Fried Politics won’t be surprised to learn Republican Lexington Councilwoman Amanda Mays Bledsoe has entered the primary contest. KFP first wrote she was interested in the race July 30.

On Thursday, Mays Bledsoe officially entered the primary election that will likely have multiple contenders for the Republican nomination.

“Lexington is the epicenter of central Kentucky,” Bledsoe said. “I understand the complexities at play and have demonstrated my ability to get things done for the community I love. My experience on the city council has taught me that strong solutions come about by listening to our community members and acting boldly on their behalf. I am ready to take our local voices to Frankfort and lend my experience in the Senate.”

Mays Bledsoe was not the only candidate to enter the race this week, Ross Mann, a Lexington attorney with Hughes & Coleman, a former intern for U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning, and Division 1 football player is also entering the race. Sources say Mann will seed his campaign with an initial $50,000.

“Lexington is a great city that has been a place people like me have chosen to settle to raise their families and achieve their dreams. I love our city and want to see it prosper and grow,” Mann said. “I’ve been a strong advocate for my clients in the courtrooms of Kentucky, and I want to take my skills to Frankfort as a lifetime conservative Republican.”

Andrew Cooperrider, who tried to impeach Gov. Andy Beshear, told local outlets before Kerr retired he planned to run in the GOP primary for the seat. Cooperrider owns a Lexington coffee shop.

On the Democratic side, KFP was the first to report Paula Setser-Kissick who narrowly lost to Kerr in 2018 plans to file for the seat. Kerr defeated Setser-Kissick in 2018 by 772 votes, less than 1.5 percent of the vote. The Democratic candidate is a former teacher and current educational consultant.

Candidates can not officially file with the Secretary of State’s Office for elections in 2022 until November of this year, but they can file letters of intent to file with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance to begin raising money for their campaigns.

The legislative district could also change before the candidates have a chance to run as lawmakers will redraw the district maps to afford equal representation following the latest census. It is still unclear when those maps will be redrawn, Republican lawmakers are calling on Gov. Beshear, D-Kentucky, to call a special session late this year to pass maps and avoid delaying the candidate filing deadline.