Thirty of the 38 elected individuals of the Kentucky state Senate are members of the Republican Party, but at least one of those members could find themselves in another district after multiple issues within the GOP caucus.
State Sen. Adrienne Southworth, R-Lawrenceburg, was first elected to the upper chamber in Nov. of 2020 and she should be up for re-election to the 7th Dist. state Senate seat until 2024 unless her colleagues place her in a new district which would mean she would have to run again in 2022, which has been discussed sources say.
If Republican legislators were willing they could substantially change districts and create a new numbered district by combining Anderson County, where Southworth lives, with Shelby County, where there is now an opening as Sen. Paul Hornback retires at the end of 2022. The move would force Southworth into an already expensive primary with a gun store owner who speaks for the portion of the Republican Party that Southworth would also need to win over in a primary contest.
They could also leave Southworth alone and use redistricting as a warning to members, get in line or face the wrath.
Southworth has a tumultuous history in Kentucky politics, she served as an outsider and contributor to ‘Take Back Kentucky,’ and as the Deputy Chief of Staff for former Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton, a posting she was fired from by former Gov. Matt Bevin’s chief of staff in 2019. She also hosted an “election security event ” in Frankfort this year that the State Journal categorized as “misinformation.”
Lawmakers say they are ready to pass the new legislative maps, either this month or when the General Assembly reconvenes on Jan. 4, 2022. A special session is practically out of time in 2021 with only one week in December available around caucus retreats and the Holidays. GOP lawmakers are blaming Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear for a delay in calling a special session, they say Beshear has been trying to see and have input in the legislative maps in exchange for calling the session. Beshear is the lone person who can call lawmakers back to Frankfort in an extraordinary special legislative session.
HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING AROUND KENTUCKY
ON THE MOVE: Republican Party of Kentucky Communications Director Mike Lonergan is leaving his post effective today, Friday, Dec. 3. Lonergan posted his departure on social media, saying he is “grateful to Chairman Brown & team for the opportunity to have been a small part of historic victories these last few years. I’m looking forward to the next step coming soon.”
David Harris, the Special Assistant for Secretary of State Michael Adams, parted ways with the office on Tuesday. Harris has served in numerous roles around Kentucky GOP politics.
SPOTTED: Secretary of State Adams appeared at the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce talking about voting this week. LINK
First Lady Britainy Beshear visited two Eastern Kentucky schools. LINK
Kentucky Senate Republicans offered a preview of the 2022 General Assembly. LINK
BIRTHDAYS: Gov. Andy Beshear turned 44 on Monday, Nov. 29.
Former state Rep. Jonathan Shell, R-Lancaster, who is running for Agriculture Commissioner celebrated a birthday on Dec. 1. Kentucky Democratic Party Chairman Colmon Elridge will celebrate a birthday on Saturday, Dec. 4.
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