Jefferson ousts Timoney in GOP state house primary

Published 6:05 pm Tuesday, May 21, 2024

In one of the biggest ousters of the night, Republican challenger Thomas Jefferson defeated incumbent Rep. Killian Timoney, R-Nicholasville, with 72% of the vote.

Fayette County voters chose Jefferson by a 40-point margin, while Jessamine County voters gave him a 62-point margin.

Jefferson will face a Democratic general election opponent in November, Adam Moore. The winner will represent House District 45, which covers parts of Fayette and Jessamine counties.

Ahead of the primary, inflammatory mailers and a website created by a pro-Jefferson third party labeled Timoney a “predator” and a “groomer” for his votes against two anti-trans bills.

Timoney, often regarded as one of the most moderate Kentucky Republican lawmakers, voted against Senate Bill 83 in 2022, which banned transgender girls from girls’ sports and transgender women from women’s sports.

He also voted against Senate Bill 150 in 2023, a wide-ranging bill that included bans on hormone therapy, puberty blockers and gender reassignment surgery for minors.

Other provisions banned school instruction on gender identity, expression or sexual orientation, and limited human sexuality curriculum to grades six and above.

The race appeared to be a referendum on Timoney’s votes.

Jefferson, a retired automobile businessman, secured key endorsements from the Family Foundation, Kentucky Right to Life and the Jessamine County Republican Party, which rarely weighs in on primary races.

Timoney, on the other hand, gained significant support from a Jefferson County Teacher’s Association political action committee. He’s spent 25 years in the school system as a teacher, coach and administrator.

“I think the 45th district wanted somebody that was more conservative, and I ran on protecting our kids,” Jefferson said.

He added that when he knocked on doors and shared Timoney’s voting record, people were quick to support Jefferson.

“I’m not trying to go ahead and disparage him by any means…I just don’t agree with how he votes,” Jefferson said.

Jefferson said he will fight to keep Senate Bill 83 and Senate Bill 150 in place, as well as for school choice.

Timoney was not immediately available for comment Tuesday night.