COVINGTON – Outgoing Northern Kentucky state Rep. Buddy Wheatley, D-Covington, announced his run for Secretary of State on Tuesday.
“In the 2022 election cycle, we saw only 41.8% voter turnout – the lowest midterm
turnout in Kentucky in nearly three decades,” Wheatley said. “That’s why I’m here today. To protect ourCommonwealth, our families and our neighbors, we need to come together to ensure free and fair elections.”
Currently, Wheatley is the lone Democrat to file for the seat. There is also a Republican primary forming between current Secretary of State Michael Adams and Allen Maricle, a former state Representative. The candidate filing deadline is Friday, January 6, 2023, at 4 pm.
Wheatley’s candidacy could boost Gov. Andy Beshear’s chances for re-election, as he is expected to garner Democratic support in Northern Kentucky, an area Beshear carried in his 2019 win against Matt Bevin.
Wheatley, who served two-terms in the House of Representatives, narrowly lost re-election to Republican Stephanie Dietz, an Edgewood family lawyer. Redistricting by the GOP stripped Wheatley of the Democratic urban Covington core.
Buddy’s Plan to Secure Kentucky’s Elections and Expand Access to the Ballot
● Increase polling locations – Under the current Secretary of State, polling places
have significantly decreased. In order to ensure everyone in Kentucky has
access to the polls, regardless of ability or transportation, we need to increase
polling locations, not restrict them.
● Recruit more poll workers – With added polling places, we will need more poll
workers, to ensure our elections are secure and effectively run.
● Extend voting hours – So many working Kentuckians aren’t able to make the 6:00
PM deadline to vote, and, as all parents know, the mornings are difficult when
you have children. We need to extend the 6:00 PM cutoff to 7:00 PM, in order to
make sure working Kentuckians are able to cast their ballot.
● Extend early voting to 2 weeks – Working families struggle to get off work to vote.
The average length of early voting in the US is 23 days – and Kentucky only has 3. Our elections system can support 2 weeks of early voting, and it will ensure
everyone in Kentucky has the opportunity to vote.
● Allow Independents and other registered voters to take part in our primary
elections – This is to ensure our general election candidates represent all of
● Eliminate straight party voting – Most other US states have already done this, and
it’s time Kentucky catches up to the rest of the country.