Primary Elections Will Proceed Under New Maps Judge Rules

Franklin Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate denied a motion from the Kentucky Democratic Party to halt the May 17 primary elections under newly passed House and Congressional maps.

Democrats are challenging the new district maps passed by Republicans in the General Assembly under the grounds the maps violate the state Constitution by excessively and unnecessarily splitting counties into multiple districts without legitimate purpose, and impermissibly attaching portions of split counties to others more times than is necessary to achieve districts of roughly equal size.

In his order, Judge Wingate wrote that halting the elections would unduly harm the secretary of state and elections officials, adding the Democratic Party should have sought to file an injunction against the maps before the filing deadline had lapsed. In essence, their claim seeking status quo by reinstating the old maps is reverting the status quo which is the maps candidates used to file for the May 17 primary races.

Wingate wrote that granting the halt of the primary would gravely harm the public interest in fairly electing state and congressional representatives.

Republican Secretary of State Michael Adams issued a statement on Wednesday thanking Judge Wingate for his decision to let the maps stand as the court case moves forward.

“I’m grateful that Judge Wingate has ruled ‘[i]t is not in the public interest’ for the Kentucky Democratic Party to ‘throw the election process into disarray,'” Adams said. “Governor Beshear worked with me in good faith to ensure a smooth election in 2020. Now I urge his party to act in good faith to ensure a smooth election in 2022 by dropping this reckless lawsuit.”

Read the full order from Judge Wingate in the pdf below.