Many of those who were elected ran with pro-life and pro-family campaigns, suggesting good things for the 2019 Session.
From a “pro-family” perspective, the Nov. 6 election and its impact on the Kentucky General Assembly should turn out to be a major step forward. Yes, a number of good legislators lost their seats in the House and Senate, but more very good freshman legislators, who campaigned on issues that will affirm family issues, were elected.
Chamber Alignments Modified Slightly
All-in-all, the House had been configured in a 63-37 Republican/Democrat ratio and that comparison was narrowed to a 61-39 ratio — a relatively little numeric change.
The Senate actually added a Republican Senator, moving from a 27-11 Republican/Democrat ratio to 28-9, with one seat open because Sen. Ray Jones (D-Pikeville) ran and won the County Judge Executive position for Pike County. (A Special Election will have to be called in order to fill his vacated seat.)
Values Are Key
Of course, more important than Party affiliation are the actual values of the individual members. Here again, though the Parties continue to find more and more separation from one another, the overall inclination, based on survey answers and campaign positions espoused, suggests that there may be more pro-family efforts in the 2019 General Assembly Session rather than fewer.
Based on statistics gleaned from the candidates who responded to the Kentucky Candidate Information Survey (KCIS) and won in House races, here are some encouraging facts *: All 100 seats in the House were available this year, but only 90 seats were contested on Nov. 6. Of the 49 candidates who won and who responded to the Survey, 43 “Disagreed” or “Strongly Disagreed” with gambling expansion; 47 “Agreed” or “Strongly Agreed” with the need for more abortion regulations and 47 “Agreed” or “Strongly Agreed” with broad religious liberty laws for pastors, churches and religious organizations; finally, 46 “Agreed” or “Strongly Agreed” with privacy protections in public school bathrooms. [*Note: Clearly, NOT ALL candidates responded to the KCIS.]
What Does It All Mean?
What does all of this mean for the 2019 General Assembly? Given the campaigns that were run; given the six close races that were decided by less than 50 votes; and given the campaigns and the commitments made by candidates in their election efforts, it seems that the 2019 Session tone should line up to be quite conservative and be laden with traditional values pieces of legislation.
However, citizens (voters) should be prepared to encourage their legislators to “do the right thing.” The close elections could cause the winners to “freeze” and not move forward on the values that got them elected.
Legislators learned a great deal during their campaigns. Voters should have as well – every voter made a difference in the election, so voters should understand that they can make a difference with their encouraging phone calls during the Session.