Nearly 700 candidates filed for the 2022 primary elections in Kentucky, but the story behind the numbers is not the increased trend in candidates filing for office, but the failure of Democrats to recruit candidates up and down the ballot.
The entire state House of Representatives and half of the state Senate is up for election this year, going through those races a theme begins to emerge, sources on the Democratic side say the filings were an embarrassment and Democrats were unprepared.
The failure lies with Gov. Andy Beshear and the Kentucky Democratic Party, some of the Democratic sources say. Redistricting, they say, is not an excuse to not have candidates ready and willing to run for office.
Not all comments on the dismal candidate recruitment have been kept from the public, Robert Kahne, a podcast host and member of the Kentucky Democratic Party State Central Executive Committee took to Twitter on Tuesday night to voice his frustration, saying Democrats “have to do better than we’ve done the last two cycles.”
He indicated there was confusion behind the scenes on candidate recruitment.
“…(I)n the next cycle I’m not going to accept “xxx is taking the lead on candidate recruitment” as an answer,” Kahne posted on Twitter.
Democrats did not field a candidate in 47 of the 100 state House districts. In the state Senate, they did not field candidates in 11 of the 19 races held this year.
This year the most interesting races to watch will come to a head on May 17, the day of the primary election, as Republicans duke it out to represent Kentuckians across the Commonwealth. That is not to say that Democrats did not file for election in Kentucky, they did, but not in the numbers they need to actually compete. Republicans already control both chambers of the General Assembly with supermajorities.