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On Election Day, Democrats Losing the State but Winning the Region

(Clinton, KY, Sunday November 4, 2012) - On the eve of one of America’s most important presidential elections in its history, there are pockets of political quietness that defies the national mood. Clinton is such a place. Tuesday will see President Obama taking 5 to 7 counties out of 120 counties in Kentucky.

He will lose Hickman County and its county seat, Clinton by a wide margin, maybe 70% to 30% of voting. Obama will lose the four River Counties. Most likely he will lose all of the eight counties of the Jackson Purchase. And, there lies in part of the reason Democrats are worried about far western Kentucky. They are confronted with a losing national election while fighting to win important local and regional elections. 

This year’s election is not about national issues as much as it is about who will control Kentucky’s House of Representatives and Senate. For the first time in modern Kentucky history, there are five open seats within the eight counties of the Jackson Purchase. This includes house seats in McCracken, Marshall, Graves, and Calloway counties.

Kelly Whitaker, Democrat is in a very rough race for the 2nd House seat against Richard Heath Republican. The Kentucky Republican Party has made Whitaker a major target with extremely negative advertising. Heath claims to have had no part of this type of campaigning.

Almost a carbon copy of negative type distorted facts is being used against Hal Kemp, Democrat in the 5th House seat. His opponent, Ken Imes Republican claims that he has no relationship with the harsh distorted legislative campaign tactics used by Frankfort Republicans against Kemp.

However, just within the past few days, the dynamics of Kentucky Senatorial politics has gotten much more complex. With the resignation of the Republican David Williams, as President Pro Temp, a new era is forming for leadership for this body of Kentucky politics.

To that end, the outcome of Tuesday race between Carroll Hubbard, Democrat, and Stan Humphries, Republican, will have statewide implications. For the past 10 years, Williams has been the monolithic wall for Kentucky Republican power with almost total control of the Senate. Now, that center has collapsed and the Democrats are scrambling to rush through this opening with plans of turning several Republicans over to the Democratic side. 

Currently there are 22 Republicans and 15 Democrats. A move of 4 Republicans to Democrats would give Democrats a working majority and control of both legislative bodies.

With the current pension laws, any legislator who wanted to retire into a higher paying job (maybe within the executive branch) may become a new member of the Millionaire Club for higher pension.  A smart governor could have fun with this type of chess playing in Frankfort.

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