LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Kentucky General Assembly was already firmly in the hands of Republicans. After Tuesday’s election, it is now even more red.
When the ballots were counted, both chambers of the state legislature emboldened their hold on Frankfort.
The state House gained 13 GOP members and now has a 75-25 Republican majority. In the Senate, a wider margin was spread further. That chamber out tallying Democrats 30-8.
“The enthusiasm and excitement generated by the top of the ticket was incredibly beneficial in the rural parts of the state, but we got wins in many areas where the head winds were against us,” Speaker of the House David Osborne (R-District 59/Prospect).
Osborne cited success for Republicans retaining seats and flipping one in suburban Jefferson County.
Democratic leaders, like Senate Minority Leader Morgan McGarvey (D-District 19/Louisville), said earlier in the week he’s concerned the economic engines of the state, and a push for gaming, will be in jeopardy by the emboldened Republicans. But GOP members argue economic progress is why Kentucky voters have kept them firmly in power.
“Our economy is coming back very strong right now in the state of Kentucky,” said Senate President Robert Stivers (R-District 25/Manchester).
Stivers and Osborne stayed short of calling the election a referendum of Democratic Governor Andy Beshear’s handling of the coronavirus.
“I’m not sure that I would call it a referendum,” Osborne said. “I’ve been asked a couple times if that was a mandate or a referendum, but I think clearly is indicative of the way the people in Kentucky feel.”
Stivers also added they legislature will look to modify Beshear’s emergency powers in it’s next session.
“We’re going to refine,” he said. “There’s no doubt that chief executives of any state or the federal level need types of powers in emergencies. We all agree with that, but what’s the extent and duration? How do you apply them?”
Republican lawmakers said they thought Kentucky’s election process went well, adding clerks have expressed some issues to them, but they think at least some of what Kentuckians saw this year will be put into permanent policy.