Election 2024: Hundreds file to run

Published 4:08 pm Monday, January 8, 2024

Kentuckians will vote in their party’s primary elections for president, U.S. representative and state representative on Tuesday, May 21.

Friday was the final day to file to run.

On the presidential side, there are few surprises. President Joe Biden faces two Democratic primary challengers: Minnesota State Rep. Dean Phillips and Marianne Williamson, an author and lecturer who also ran in 2020.

The Republican ballot includes former president Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former U.S. Ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy.

The state and local races have some new faces, though.

U.S. House of Representatives

Half of Kentucky’s congressmen up for reelection will face primary opponents.

Republican U.S. Reps. James Comer, representing District 1, Brett Guthrie, representing District 2, and Andy Barr, representing District 6, will run unopposed.

In the general election in November, Comer will face Democratic challenger Erin Marshall, a sales manager with experience on Democratic political campaigns.

Guthrie will face the winner in the primary between Democrats William Dakota Compton, a city commissioner in Plum Springs, and Hank Linderman, a former musician and recording engineer.

Barr will face one of five Democrats that have filed to run for District 6.

Jonathan Richardson, Shauna Rudd, Randy Cravens, Todd Kelly and Don Pratt will compete in the May primary.

Cravens was a write-in candidate in 2022, garnering 3.6% of the vote.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Morgan McGarvey will face two primary challengers: Jared Randall and Geoffrey Young, who previously ran for governor.

Republicans Mike Craven and Denny Ormerod are also vying for the District 3 spot in the primary.

Three Republicans are challenging U.S. Rep Hal Rogers’ seat, which he has held since 1981.

Dana Edwards, David Kraftchak Jr. and Brandon Monhollen are the contenders. Only Monhollen has run against Rogers before.

The final matchup, between incumbent Rep. Thomas Massie and challenger Eric Deters, has been a long time coming.

While Deters was running for governor, he started talking about challenging Massie’s seat. Deters is a suspended attorney known for his far right “Liberty” leanings, and his personal controversies, including charges related to a truck chase involving his nephew.

He was the fourth top vote-getter in the Republican gubernatorial primary last year.

Kentucky State Senate

This year, half of Kentucky’s state senators are up for reelection. There will only be six contested primaries, though.

The senators with no primary or general election competitors are:

  • Reginald Thomas, D-Lexington;
  • Rick Girdler, R-Somerset
  • Cassie Chambers Armstrong, D-Louisville;
  • Brandon Storm, R-London;
  • Robert Stivers, R-Manchester; and
  • Phillip Wheeler, R-Pikeville.

Four will face a general election opponent but no primary challenger:

  • Sen. David Givens, R-Greensburg, who faces Democrat Karen Pennington;
  • Sen. Stephen West, R-Paris, who faces Democrat Molly Gene Crain;
  • David Yates, D-Louisville, who faces Republican Calvin Leach; and
  • Sen. Christian McDaniel, R-Ryland Heights, who faces Democrat Jennifer Sierra.

Five current senators will compete in primary elections this year. They are:

  • Stephen Meredith, R-Leitchfield, who faces Republican Thomas Ballinger;
  • Adrienne Southworth, R-Lawrenceburg, who faces Republicans Ed Galleria and Aaron Reed, as well as Democrat Rhonda David;
  • Johnnie Turner, R-Harlan, who faces Republicans Shawn Gilles and Randy Thompson;
  • Gerald Neal, D-Louisville, who faces Democrats Attica Scott and Michael Churchill Jr.; and
  • Jason Howell, R-Murray, who will face Republican Lynn Bechler. 

Several seats are wide open for fresh faces after their incumbent decided not to run again.

Republican Craig Richardson will take Sen. Whitney Westerfield’s District 3 seat.

Republicans Duana Froelicher and Steve Rawlings will compete to take over Sen. John Schickel’s District 11 seat.

Two Republicans and one Democrat will vie for outgoing Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer’s seat: Republicans Julia Jaddock and Matt Nunn and Democrat Kiana Fields.

Democratic State. Rep. Keturah Herron will switch chambers as she takes over outgoing Sen. Denise Harper Angel’s spot.

State House of Representatives

All 100 state representatives are up for reelection this year. In total, 180 Kentuckians filed to run for a seat.

Over a third of current state representatives are running unopposed, meaning nobody else filed to run against them. The 36 unopposed representatives include Speaker of the House David Osbourne, R-Prospect, and 29 other Republicans.

In total, there will be 41 uncontested races.

Still more representatives only face a general election challenger.

Only 20 face a primary challenger. They are:

  • Richard Heath, R-Mayfield, facing Kimberly Holloway;
  • Josh Calloway, R-Irvington, facing Julie Cantwell;
  • Michael Meredith, R-Oakland, facing Kelcey Rock;
  • Daniel Grossberg, D-Louisville, facing Mitra Subedi;
  • Nima Kulkarni, D-Louisville, facing William Seitz;
  • Beverly Chester-Burton, D-Shively, facing Daniel Cockrell and Shreeta Waldon;
  • Killian Timoney, R-Nicholasville, facing Thomas Jefferson;
  • Felicia Rabourn, R-Pendleton, facing Mark Gilkison;
  • Thomas Huff, R-Shepherdsville, facing William Harned;
  • Candy Massaroni, R-Bardstown, facing Andy Stone and Don Thrasher;
  • Kim King, R-Harrodsburg, facing James Toller;
  • Marianna Proctor, R-Union, facing Christopher Pavese and Darren Nichols;
  • Savannah Maddox, R-Dry Ridge, facing Jarrod Lykins;
  • Kim Moser, R-Taylor Mill, facing Karen Campbell;
  • Steven Doan, R-Erlanger, facing Diane Brown;
  • George Brown Jr., D-Lexington, facing Daniel Whitley;
  • Tom Smith, R-Gray, facing Billy Taylor;
  • Timmy Truett, R-McKee, facing Idalia Holland;
  • Bill Wesley, R-Ravenna, facing Darrell Billings; and
  • Adrielle Camuel, D-Lexington, facing Sarah Ritter.

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Sen. Christian McDaniel, R-Ryland Heights, had withdrawn from the race. He is running.