In executive orders filed today with the Secretary of State’s office, Gov. Bevin has set March 8th, 2016 as the date of the special election for four districts of the House of Representatives.
Representatives from the 8th, 54th, 62nd, and 98th districts have resigned their seats. John Tilley, Mike Harmon, Ryan Quarles, and Tanya Pullin held seats in the House of Representatives but were either appointed to positions in the Bevin Administration, or were elected to higher office.
At stake is the razor thin majority the Democratic party currently holds in the state house. The Democratic majority has dwindled with the recent switch in party of Rep. Denny Butler and Rep. Jim Gooch.
While this may be a cause for celebration it will not have any effect on the makeup of the Kentucky General Assembly during this years regular session. by law, special elections can not be held during the session of the General Assembly. However, it will affect future sessions.
As an unfortunate byproduct of these four representatives resigning, roughly 172,000 citizens of the commonwealth of Kentucky will not be able to voice their concerns in this years General Assembly.
This also poses a particularly interesting test for the Republican Party of Kentucky. Will the KY GOP be able to handle four house races happening at the same time? Will the Kentucky Democratic Party be motivated to put forth their best candidate and have a good showing?