Names to Watch to Replace Rep. Goforth

The resignation of Rep. Robert Goforth, R-East Bernstadt, as he faces a criminal court case for domestic violence allegations has prompted multiple prospective candidates interested in filling his unexpired term in the 89th District House seat in the 2022 election.

There are currently three Democrats and five Republicans eyeing the seat including a former state Senator, according to sources.

Republicans Considering their Candidacy:

Sen. Albert Robinson, R-London, has been in-and-out of Frankfort since the 1970s. The now 82-year old most recently served in the state Senate losing his 2020 re-election to Brandon Storm, R-London, no relation to the author.

Retired Kentucky State Police Major Kevin Minor, who was the commander of the state police Special Enforcement Troop responsible for undercover, intelligence, special operations, and aviation personnel, is also eyeing the race according to local sources. Minor retired in 2019 after 24 years with KSP, he served also served as the Captain and commander of the Aircraft Branch, where he piloted three governors and other executives.

Berea City Councilwoman Cora Jane Wilson, a local small business owner, is also talking about a run for the House seat, according to a source familiar with her plans.

McKee Elementary School Principal Tim Truett, the owner of a pumpkin patch is eyeing the GOP-heavy district. But he’s not the only educator in the district eyeing the race, Brad Mullins, the principal of Hazel Green Elementary in Laurel County is also considering the election.

Democrats Considering a Run:

Mike VanWinkle, D-Richmond, previously ran for this seat against Goforth in 2020. VanWinkle was defeated with 28 percent of the vote. He describes himself as an activist, philanthropist, and former youth pastor.

Mae Suramek, the owner of a sandwich shop in Berea, Kentucky, has officially declared her interest in the race. Suramek listed early childhood education, food security, and accessible healthcare as basic needs for all Kentuckians regardless of political party.

Ray Arnold, a giving officer with Berea College, is also considering the special election, according to sources. Arnold is a former legislative session and legislative affairs intern during 2014, while Gov. Steve Beshear, D-Kentucky, held office.

In a special election, it is up to the local parties to select their nominee, so voters will not have a say in a primary – like in normal elections. The special election is set for Nov. 2.

The 89th District is likely to change via the redistricting process as rural communities lost population in the latest census. Voters in the district will hold a primary and general election for this seat in 2022.