The Latest: Paul Walker Wins 1st District Democratic Race

Posted at 9:08 PM, May 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-22 21:08:44-04

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – The Latest on Kentucky’s primary election Tuesday (all times local):

9:30 p.m.

A county clerk in Kentucky who went to jail three years ago for denying marriage licenses to same-sex couples now knows who her challenger will be in the fall election.

Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis was the last one to leave the office Tuesday night after votes were counted.

She faces Elwood Caudill, who won a four-way Democratic primary, defeating David Ermold. Ermold was one of those denied a marriage license in 2015, and his campaign raised more than $200,000 with donations from at least 48 states.

Davis defeated Caudill by 23 votes as a Democrat in 2014. She said she wasn’t surprised that Ermold was beaten so handily by Caudill, who works in the property valuation administrator’s office.

Davis said the funds Ermold raised didn’t mean much to voters in Rowan County because the money was from people who don’t live there or vote there.


8:55 p.m.

An English professor at Murray State University has won the Democratic nomination in Kentucky’s 1st Congressional District.

Paul Walker defeated Alonzo Pennington in the Democratic primary on Tuesday. He will face Republican U.S. Rep. James Comer in the November general election.

Walker is a former U.S. Forest Service firefighter who says he is committed to "environmental justice." He supports a single-payer health care system and making medical marijuana legal. He supports the Dream Act in Congress, which would grant legal status some undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.

Comer is a former Kentucky state representative and state agriculture commissioner. He was first elected to Congress in 2016 and is running for re-election.


8:40 p.m.

A lawyer and U.S. Navy veteran has won the Democratic nomination in Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District.

Kenneth S. Stepp defeated former Elkhorn City councilman Scott Sykes on Tuesday. He will face 19-term Republican U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers in the November general election. Rogers defeated Republican Gerardo Serrano in the Republican primary.

Stepp has run unsuccessfully for Congress twice before in Florida, once as a Democrat and once as a Republican. He says he is running for office because he is not satisfied with the country’s direction. He said he wants to rein in the federal deficit while keeping a strong military.

Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District covers most of eastern Kentucky.


8:35 p.m.

A high school math teacher has defeated the House majority floor leader of the Kentucky House of Representatives in an election that comes following a wave of education protests at state Capitols.

Travis Brenda narrowly defeated state Rep. Jonathan Shell on Tuesday to win the Republican nomination for House District 71. Two years ago, Shell was credited with helping orchestrate the first GOP takeover of the state House of Representatives in nearly 100 years. But voters turned on him for his role in writing a new state law that made changes to the state’s pension system.

Brenda credited a groundswell of teacher support for his victory and says it sends a message to other candidates that teachers and public workers will not be silent. Brenda will face Democrat Mary Renfro in the general election.

At least 15 other current and former teachers were also on the ballot Tuesday.


8:15 p.m.

An attorney and former appointee of Gov. Matt Bevin has won the Republican nomination in Kentucky’s 3rd Congressional District.

Vickie Yates Brown Glisson defeated two other candidates for the chance to face Democratic U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth in November.

Glisson was an attorney with the Louisville firm Frost Brown Todd. In 2015, Bevin appointed her secretary for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, the state’s largest government agency. She resigned in January to run for Congress. She opposes the Affordable Care Act, saying it keeps health care costs high by eliminating competition.

Yarmuth is a Louisville native who has been in Congress since 2007, where he is the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee.

The district encompasses most of Louisville, Kentucky’s largest city.


8 p.m.

Former military fighter pilot Amy McGrath has won the Democratic nomination in Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District, setting up a tough fall campaign against a Republican incumbent.

McGrath, a political newcomer, defeated Lexington Mayor Jim Gray to win the crowded Democratic primary Tuesday. She’ll face Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Barr in the fall in the district stretching from the bluegrass to the Appalachian foothills.

McGrath played up her military career, which ended in 2017 when she retired from the Marine Corps as a lieutenant colonel who had flown 89 combat missions.

She portrayed Gray as the "establishment candidate." She overcame a late attack ad in which Gray pointed out that McGrath was a newcomer to the district despite her Kentucky roots.

McGrath, who moved to the district last year after her military career, called the ad an attack against any military veteran who goes home to serve in another way.


7:15 p.m.

A gay man in eastern Kentucky has lost his bid to challenge a Republican county clerk who went to jail three years ago for denying him and others marriage licenses in the aftermath of an historic U.S. Supreme Court decision.

David Ermold was seeking the Democratic nomination for county clerk in Rowan County, Kentucky. He hoped to challenge Kim Davis, the religious conservative who said in 2015 "God’s authority" prevented her from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

But Ermold lost to Elwood Caudill in a four-way Democratic primary on Tuesday, despite a campaign that raised more than $200,000 with donations from at least 48 states. Caudill will face Davis in the November general election. No one challenged Davis for the Republican nomination.


7 p.m.

Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Barr has easily won the GOP nomination in Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District ahead of what’s likely to be an intense re-election campaign in November.

Barr defeated businessman Chuck Eddy on Tuesday. He will face the winner of the crowded Democratic primary in November.

Democrats are targeting Barr’s seat as they try to win a majority in the House of Representatives. The district has flip-flopped between the two major political parties since the 1970s. Barr was first elected in 2012, when he ousted Democratic incumbent Ben Chandler.

In the House, Barr is chairman of the Monetary Policy and Trade Subcommittee.


6:50 p.m.

Hal Rogers has easily won the Republican nomination in Kentucky’s 5th Congressional District to seek a record 20th term in Congress.

Rogers defeated Gerardo Serrano in Tuesday’s Republican primary. He will face the winner of the Democratic primary, either attorney Kenneth Stepp or former Elkhorn City councilman Scott Sykes.

The 80-year-old Rogers has been in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1981. He is the state’s longest-serving Republican in Congress, besting U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell by four years.

Rogers was chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee from 2011 to 2016. He has focused in recent years on revitalizing the eastern Kentucky coalfields, which have suffered economically by the decline of the coal industry.

The 5th Congressional District includes most of eastern Kentucky.


4 p.m.

Voters in one Kentucky county are choosing a nominee to run this fall against a county clerk who went to jail rather than issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Most voters interviewed at the Carl Perkins Community Center in Morehead on Tuesday said they were supporting Democrat David Ermold. Ermold is a gay man who was denied a marriage license in 2015 and wants to challenge Republican incumbent Kim Davis.

Jacqueline Scott said she didn’t like the way Davis handled the gay marriage issue. The 72-year-old registered Republican wasn’t able to vote for Ermold in the primary. She says she likes Davis’ family but will support the Democratic nominee this fall.

Another voter, 30-year-old Danielle Hobson, says she believes Davis wasn’t right to invoke religion when refusing to sign marriage certificates for gay couples.

But 76-year-old Brenda Sparks said she can’t support Ermold because of what the Bible says about homosexuality. She voted for Democrat Elwood Caudill Jr.


3:40 p.m.

In Kentucky’s primary election, 16 legislative candidates are current or retired educators, part of a national movement of teachers seeking better conditions for classrooms.

The most high-profile race involves Republican Rep. Jonathan Shell, the House majority floor leader and one of the architects of a new law revising the state’s troubled retirement systems.

That law prompted thousands of teachers to protest at the state Capitol this year, forcing dozens of school districts to close for a day. Rockcastle County High School math teacher R. Travis Brenda hopes to capitalize on that anger to defeat Shell.


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