KFP JUICE BAR: Redistricting in 2021?

Introducing the Juice Bar by Kentucky Fried Politics. It’s your place to hear all the gossip and rumors around Kentucky’s political scene.

Juice of the Day

Redistricting could take place this year. A trade of sorts is rumored to be in the works. Republicans want to pass new legislative maps before returning in January 2022 for the legislative session. Gov. Andy Beshear is floating supplemental “hero pay” for some who worked during the pandemic. Beshear could effectively trade for the legislation by adding redistricting to the special session call. 

Beshear is rumored to be asking to see the redistricting maps, to this point the GOP has not shared that with the governor.

Behind the scenes, Republicans are doing all they can to ensure rural Republicans do not have to challenge one another as the districts will have to increase in geography to make up for population losses. 

Rank and file Republicans have not yet seen a work product of new maps. In order to call a special session broad agreement would need to be in place with lawmakers. 

Three new lawmakers could also be sworn in during the special session. Special elections are being held in two House districts and one Senate district on November 2. Those new members could participate in a special session if it is held. 

The 3rd District Dilemma 

As lawmakers redraw the maps they will have to consider what to do about the 3rd Congressional District in Louisville. U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville, retirement at the end of his current term leaves some in the GOP speculating their chance to steal the seat in an open election. The current math does not bode well. 

U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, has long advocated for leaving the Congressional district alone giving Republicans five of the six Congressional seats in Kentucky.

State Sen. Julie Raque Adams, R-Louisville, announced this week she would not seek the Congressional seat, opting instead to seek re-election to her current post. Numerous other Republicans are eyeing the seat, but will likely not enter a race until they know what the map will look like. 

Kentucky Secretary of State Mike Adams threw his name into contention for the Republican Congressional primary telling followers he polls well amongst African Americans. 

State Sen. Morgan McGarvey continues to add to his endorsement list in the Congressional race adding Louisville Metro Councilmembers Cassie Chambers Armstrong, Cindy Fowler, and Paula McCraney, state Rep. Charlie Miller, Sen. Denise Harper Angel, former Rep. Larry Clark, former Sen. Perry Clark, former Metro Councilmember Brandon Coan, Rep. Jeff Donohue, and former Rep. Maria Sorolis. 

Rep. Attica Scott, D-Louisville, is also running for Congress in the Democratic primary. As Kentucky Fried Politics first reported in June, Scott has spent big from her account for state House in an off-cycle year. She has now nearly zeroed out the account with expenditures, likely for the Congressional race. According to her October report with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance, Scott now has just $216.78 in the account that once held $36,734. Expenditures this year included paying staff, like her treasurer, Advocate Scott, and $5,000 a month for finance consulting. State funds are not supposed to be spent on federal campaigns, which could result in a federal investigation. 

2023 Watch

SPOTTED: Earlier this month former United Nations Ambassador Kelly Craft rolled up to an event to honor fallen officers at Jefferson Square Park in a Mercedes sedan with former United States Attorney Russell Coleman. Coleman spoke at the event, where he lauded the attendance of Craft. While her tweets are focused on foreign affairs, many speculate Craft will seek the Republican nomination to run for governor in 2023. 

Mike Harmon is consistently bad at fundraising. His first gubernatorial report showed just $13,000 in fundraising.The two-term state Auditor nearly makes more a month with his $129,374 government salary than he managed to raise in his first three months in the campaign. 

BIRTHDAY – Turning 38-years old this week is Republican Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles. The farmer and PhD held the title of the youngest statewide elected for three years after first being elected in 2015. Quarles is keeping his powder mostly dry as he eyes the GOP primary for governor.

U.S. Senate Race

Democratic candidate Charles Booker announced on Thursday that his campaign has been endorsed by Planned Parenthood Action Fund. A documentary on Booker’s 2020 race will premiere in November. 

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