Representative Ryan Quarles (R-Georgetown) handily won his race against Democrat Jean-Marie Lawson Spann in the November elections. Consequently, he will have to resign his position as representative in the Kentucky House before taking the oath of office to serve as Agriculture Commissioner. With Quarle’s impending resignation from the house, another special election will be held to fill the seat in the 62nd House District. This district comprises all of Owen County, and parts of Scott and Fayette.
Republicans and Democrats in the 62nd District are preparing for their special election, which is also happening across the commonwealth in the 8th, 98th (Rep. Tonya Pullin has yet to resign her seat), and the 54th.
With a razor thin majority in the State House for the Democratic party, every special election this year will be crucial for either party, to maintain majority, or to achieve a historic feat of flipping the house. Will the 62nd District seat continue to be held by the Republican Party or will a Democratic member take the seat to keep the Democratic majority?
It appears that both sides are working hard to organize in advance for the special election which will be called by Gov. Bevin at any moment.
In Scott County, The Republican Party there have identified three people who have expressed interest in seeking the seat vacated by Quarles. Chairman Don Rochester, in a phone interview identified three people who may seek the nomination.
Mike Bradley. Bradley is an independent business man that runs the Bradley IGA store in Stamping Ground. He is not a newcomer to politics as he has previously served as the Scott County Republican Party Chairman, and has run for local office before.
Scott Mitchell. Mitchell is also an independent business man and the leader of the local 9/12 project in Scott County, and a member of the Scott County GOP Executive Committee.
Phillip Pratt. Pratt is an independent business man who is well liked throughout the region as he owns Pratt Landscaping.
The Owen and Fayette County parties did not identify anyone who would be interested in the race at this time, although Fayette GOP chair Carol Rogers said, “we will be 100% behind the candidate”.
Democrats seem less organized in a similar fashion to the 54th district as we wrote about before. Bobby McDowell, the Scott County Democratic party chairman identified two possible candidates for the race.
Chuck Tackett. Tackett has had a track record of political action, being a member of the Scott County Democratic Committee, he has held the 3rd District Magistrate seat, but had unsuccessfully ran against Quarles for the 62nd District in 2014. In 2014 Quarles won reelection by 2,700 votes.
Mark Showalter. Showalter is also politically active as he is on the city council for the city of Georgetown.
In Owen County, Democratic party chairman Stuart Bowling said, when asked about possible candidates or nominees, “I don’t know that we do. We haven’t had any conversations about the race”.
It’s likely that the candidate from both parties will come from Scott County.
Sen. Damon Thayer, (R-Georgetown) who represents Scott County in the senate, said of the district and the possible outcome “It has very good Republican numbers and we expect to hold the seat”.