Three GOP Candidates File to Replace Hornback in 2022 Open Seat Election

Half of the state Senate is up for re-election next year, but much of the early action has been centered around several open seats generated by legislative retirements. 

In June, Sen. Paul Hornback, R-Shelbyville, announced he was retiring after 10 years in office to spend more time on his farm and with family leading to three GOP candidates filing to replace Hornback in the upper chamber so far.

When Hornback announced he would not be seeking re-election in 2022 he had already drawn a GOP primary from Navy SEAL Senior Chief Aaron Reed, a Republican from Shelbyville, who filed his letter of intent to raise money for the seat in April with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance (KREF). Reed owns a farm and two firearms-related businesses in Shelby County. Reed has already raised over $60,000 for the election, according to KREF. 

Another Republican, Gary “Tony” McCurdy, of Frankfort, Kentucky, has also filed a letter of intent to raise money with KREF. McCurdy ran for this seat in the 2014 GOP primary. In that election year, Hornback won the primary with 82 percent of the vote. McCurdy filed his letter of intent to run in 2022 at the end of June after Hornback announced he would not be seeking another term in office. 

In 2008, McCurdy ran for the 6th Congressional District GOP primary losing to Jon Larson by less than 1,000 votes. 

Wayne Karem, of Shelbyville, Kentucky, is the third Republican candidate to file a letter of intent for this seat. Karem is the president of Vector Engineering, an adjunct professor at the University of Kentucky, and an advisor to the Civil Engineering Department at Western Kentucky University, according to his biography with Vector. He filed to raise cash in August of 2021.

There are currently no Democrats who have filed to raise money to run for this seat which represents Kentuckians in Carroll, Henry, part of Jefferson, Shelby, and Trimble Counties. 

Correction: An earlier version of this story said Reed had run for Congress in 2008. This is Reed’s first race, it is McCurdy who has run for office several times before.