Race for Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr Senate Seat Already Taking Shape

Two Republicans and at least one Democrat are already lining up their campaigns for the 12th District Senate Seat.

With the retirement of Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr, R-Lexington, who has held the seat for 23-years, there are multiple candidates already making overtures to fill the now open seat in 2022.

Democrat Paula Setser-Kissick who narrowly lost to Kerr in 2018 plans to file for the seat, sources say. Kerr defeated Setser-Kissick in 2018 by 772 votes, less than 1.5 percent of the vote. The Democrat is a former teacher and current educational consultant.

In a tweet on Thursday, Setser-Kissick thanked Sen. Kerr for her service in the General Assembly.

“I wish Senator @aliceforgykerr all the best & thank her for her service,” she wrote. “After the 2018 election, she was gracious & encouraging to me, & I appreciate her work on mental health & conversion therapy ban – as well as her recent votes supporting public education.”

Lexington Councilwoman Amanda May Bledsoe is looking at the Republican primary for the open 12th District Senate seat, a source says. 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.

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.