Your Home Your story reservation Primary 2024: NKY has 10 state legislative races this month; at least one goes to the wire – NKyTribune

Primary 2024: NKY has 10 state legislative races this month; at least one goes to the wire – NKyTribune


By Jack Brammer
NKyTribune reporter

A Northern Kentucky legislative race between two Republicans is shaping up to be the dirtiest in the state this spring. Allegations about controversial topics such as homosexual hookups, white supremacy and support for Hillary Clinton have surfaced in the 66th House District, which covers part of Boone County. The district represents parts of Burlington and Hebron, as well as Belleview and Petersburg.

In the district’s May 21 Republican primary, TJ (nickname for Theodore Joseph) Roberts of Burlington has called on his opponent, C. Edward Massey of Hebron, to withdraw due to personal attacks.

Thomas Massey, TJ Roberts (photos provided)

Massey, a former two-term state representative, says it is his opponent who started the negative attacks and that he will hit back if he is hit.

The attack-filled race is one of 10 state legislative races this spring involving Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties in Northern Kentucky — three in the Senate and seven in the House of Representatives.

Republicans hold 80 of the 100 seats in the state House and 31 of the 38 seats in the Senate in Kentucky. Republicans will retain control of both chambers this year. The ballot lists all 100 seats in the House of Representatives for two-year terms and half of the Senate seats – those in odd-numbered districts – for four-year terms.

Here’s a look at each of the state legislative races next week in Northern Kentucky. Voter turnout in elections is expected to be low.

Kentucky House (file photo)

Kentucky House

66th district

Both Roberts and Massey – Republican Party candidates in the 66th State House District – are attorneys and graduates of Northern Kentucky University’s Chase College of Law.

Both embrace conservative views on key issues like abortion and gun rights, but Roberts also aligns himself with so-called “Liberty” candidates. They are known for their limited governance and strict adherence to the constitution and Christian values. Their ranks in Northern Kentucky include U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie of Lewis County and state Rep. Savannah Maddox of Dry Ridge, both of whom are supporting Roberts.

Massey’s endorsers include Boone County Attorney Bob Neace and former U.N. Ambassador Kelly Craft, an unsuccessful candidate for governor of Kentucky last year.

Massey held the seat in the 66th House for four years and wants to return. He was one of three committee chairmen from Northern Kentucky defeated by Liberty Republicans in the 2022 primaries. He blamed the low turnout – about 10 percent – ​​for his defeat.

He wants to replace the lawmaker who defeated him — Rep. Steve Rawlings, R-Burlington, who is now running for the seat of retiring state Sen. John Schickel, R-Union.

Massey served on the Boone County School Board of Education before becoming a legislator. He served on the school board from 1998 to 2018.

In the House, Massey chaired the Judiciary Committee. He said his return to the Capitol aims, among other things, to properly represent the economically productive 66th District, ensure a strong educational environment through public and private schools and school choice options and improve juvenile justice centers.

Roberts, a lawyer, said he fought for rights and freedoms. In 2020, he sued Gov. Andy Beshear after he banned worship, protests and other activities and won. Roberts has also fought for school choice, constitutional gun bearing, ending vaccine mandates and the end of abortion.

But attacks have dominated the issues in the House race.

Roberts’ campaign has accused Massey of being a Democrat, basing the allegation on a Federal Election Commission report that Massey had donated to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2008.

Massey said the money was the price of admission to attend an event where he would hear a presidential candidate speak about education in a private home at the time he was on the school board, and that he did not consider it a campaign donation. He said Roberts’ campaign is trying to smear him with flyers showing him with Clinton.

There was also the appointment of Massey by House leadership to a special panel to investigate whether Governor Beshear should be impeached over his COVID-19 policies. The committee voted unanimously for no impeachment. That only fueled comments from the Liberty side that Massey was close to Democrats.

The Massey campaign, on the other hand, has noted that years ago Roberts met and shook hands with neo-Nazi Richard Spencer, who spoke out about white supremacy. Roberts said he actually took the opportunity to disagree with him about his views on the Jewish people.

“Everything was taken out of context,” Roberts said.

Earlier this month, Roberts called on Massey to drop out of the race after Massey accused Roberts in a candidate forum of having a profile on a gay hookup app. The Cincinnati Inquirer reported that Massey said he stood by his claim that Roberts is “allegedly on Grindr.” Grindr is an online dating site aimed at gay and bisexual men and transgender people.

Massey told it Northern Kentucky Tribune that he emphasized that it was a rumor and that he had heard it from several people. “I thought it should be brought up in the race. I don’t judge him, but I think people should be honest.’

Roberts said he wrote a paper in college that mentioned “Grindr,” but he is not gay. He believes some of Massey’s supporters found the article and tried to link Roberts to it.

As of May 21, Massey was a leader in campaign fundraising. His campaign reported raising $104,900, compared to $58,185 for Roberts. Massey had spent $87,604 and Roberts $40,450.

The winner of the 66th House District Republican primary will face Democrat Peggy Houston-Nienaber of Union on Nov. 5. She is a teacher.

64th District (part of Kenton County)

Republican Karen Campbell of Independence, a real estate agent, is seeking to replace Republican Kim Moser of Taylor Mills, who is running for her fourth term. Moser is chairman of the House Health and Family Services Committee.

Heather Crabbe of Covington, an attorney, is a Democrat in the fall race.

60th District (part of Boone County)

Republican incumbent Marianne Proctor of Union, a speech pathologist, faces GOP challenger Christopher Pavese of Union, a professional engineer.

Deborah Ison Flowers of Union is the Democratic candidate in the race one of them will face this fall. She is a retired nurse.

61st District (Grant, part of Boone, part of Kenton, Gallatin)

Incumbent Republican Savannah Maddox of Dry Ridge has a Republican challenger, Jarrod M. Lykins of Walton, a Marine Corps veteran. Not a single Democrat entered the race.

63rd District (part of Kenton and Boone counties)

Republican incumbent Kim Banta of Ft. Mitchell is unopposed this year. She is a retired teacher.

65th District (part of Kenton County)

Incumbent Republican Stephanie Ann Dietz of Edgewood has no challenger from the Republican Party, but is being challenged by Democrat Aaron Currin of Ft. Wright in the fall. Both are lawyers.

67th District (part of Campbell County)

Democratic incumbent Rachel Roberts of Newport decided not to seek re-election. Competing for the seat this year are Democrat Matthew Lehman of Newport and Republicans Terry W. Hatton of Bellevue and Brian K. Ormes of Southgate.

Lehman is a healthcare and biotechnology executive who unsuccessfully challenged U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie for the fourth Congressional District seat in 2022. Hatton is a U.S. Army veteran and owner of VSP Management Co. Ormes owns Boss Mechanical Construction.

68th District (part of Campbell County)

Incumbent Republican Mike Clines of Alexandria, an education consultant, has no primary opposition. K. Brandon Long of Fort Thomas, a Democrat, will run against him this fall. Long is an Episcopal minister.

69th District (part of Kenton and Boone counties)

Republican incumbent Steven Doan of Erlanger, an attorney, faces Diane Brown of Erlanger in the GOP primary. She is a former lawyer who decided to become a full-time mother. The winner will face Democrat Wilanne Stangel of Erlanger in November. Stangel is an employee at the Boone County Library System.

78th District (part of Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties and all of Pendleton counties)

Incumbent Republican Mark Hart of Falmouth is unopposed.

The Kentucky Senate in session (file photo)

Kentucky Senate

11th District (part of Boone County)

Two Republicans are vying to replace Schickel.

They are Duane Froelicher from Florence and Steve Rawlings from Burlington. Froelicher is president of the Florence Rotary Club and Rawlings is a lawyer trying to jump from the House of Representatives to the Senate.

Not a single Democrat entered the race.

17th District (Grant, part of Kenton, Scott, part of Fayette County)

Longtime Republican incumbent Damon Thayer, the Senate majority leader from Georgetown, is retiring this year.

Two Republicans and one Democrat are trying to replace him.

More than two million Kentuckians voted in the 2020 presidential election, according to state data. (NKyTribune file)

The Republicans are Julia Jaddock of Georgetown and Matt Nunn of Sadieville. The Democrat is Kiana Fields of Georgetown.

Jaddock is a business consultant, Nunn is a Toyota official and Fields is a research administrator at the University of Louisville.

23rd District (part of Kenton County)

Incumbent Republican Chris McDaniel of Ryland Heights, chairman of the Senate Appropriations and Revenue Committee, faces no Republican Party opposition, but Democrat Jennifer Sierra of Covington is running against him in the fall.

McDaniel runs a concrete company. Sierra is a small business owner whose campaign advocates for women’s right to make their own health decisions.