Kentucky’s May 17 Republican Primary Election saw strong performances by pro-life and pro-family candidates throughout the Commonwealth, setting the stage for November’s important General Election and the 2023 General Assembly.
Notably, ten incumbent legislators who The Family Foundation of Kentucky recognized as Family Champions or Advocates, based upon their voting-record scores of 85% or above on the Kentucky Family Legislative Scorecard, won their primary races.
In the Kentucky Senate, Senator Robby Mills, primary sponsor of the Save Women’s Sports Act, handily defeated his primary challenger. And in one of the most watched Senate races, Senator Donald Douglas won a highly contested primary race over Andrew Cooperrider.
In the Kentucky House, Representatives Walker Thomas, Steven Rudy, Bill Wesley, Danny Bentley, Brandon Reed, Ken Upchurch, Kim King, and Savannah Maddox, who were all recognized as Family Champions or Advocates, won their primary races against challengers.
In one of the most closely watched House races, Representative Adam Koenig, who scored a mere 64% on the Kentucky Family Legislative Scorecard and was the lowest scoring Republican candidate facing a primary challenge, was defeated 46-54% by Steven Doan.
Koenig was one of the Kentucky House’s most outspoken advocates for the expansion of predatory gambling and chaired the pro-gambling Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations (L&O) Committee that has repeatedly given its stamp of approval to predatory gambling expansion. Koenig had also authored an amendment in the 2022 session to remove protections for female college athletes from the Save Women’s Sports Act. Thankfully, the final version that is now law included the full protections for female college athletes.
In another significant development, two other Kentucky House committee chairs and L&O Committee members who favored the expansion of predatory gambling within the Commonwealth were also unseated. Representative Ed Massey lost to Steve Rawlings by 38% and Representative Sal Santoro lost to Marianne Proctor by 4%.
Representative McCoy, a fourth member of the L&O Committee, will not be returning to the Kentucky House in 2023 after he announced his retirement after the 2022 session ended. He will be replaced by Candy Massaroni, a mom and Air Force veteran who opposes expanded predatory gambling and ran on a pro-family platform that emphasized parental rights, the sanctity of life, and faith. Massaroni defeated Trey Bradley, who had been endorsed by McCoy.
The most-watched open seat primary in the Kentucky Senate saw Gex “jay” Williams prevail with 42% of the vote, making him the top vote getter within his contested 4-way race. Williams, who has previously served in the Kentucky Senate and House, is well-known as a strong ally on pro-life and pro-family issues.
At the federal level, 86% of Kentucky’s Republican Primary voters supported Rand Paul’s continued service as U.S. Senator. Paul’s Democrat challenger in November will be Charles Booker. Booker, who easily won the Democratic primary and previously served in the Kentucky House from 2019-2020, is an outspoken pro-abortion advocate.
With the primary season completed, all registered voters in Kentucky will have the opportunity to select their state legislators, vote on Kentucky’s pro-life “Yes for Life” Constitutional Amendment, and vote in other important state, federal, and local races during the General Election on Tuesday, November 8.