Democrats have changed a seat in the state Senate that Republicans previously held for the past 25 years.
Dr. Karen Berg won the special elections for the 26th Kentucky Senate District after Republican Senator Ernie Harris announced that she would retire after 25 years in office. She beat Republican candidate Bill Ferko by 14 points.
During the 2018 general election, Dr. Berg narrowly lost to Harris when he was trying to impeach him for the state Senate.
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But his victory, announced Tuesday after officials counted all the ballots in the absence of the June 23 special election, could indicate that the blue wave seen across the country during the 2018 general election could continue in 2020. .
He will remain on his Senate seat until 2022.
Kentucky Democratic Party Chairman Ben Self congratulated Dr. Berg and said her victory was “a clear sign that Kentucky voters are tired of the @KYGOP split.”
Republicans still have a super majority within the Kentucky State Senate, so Dr. Berg’s victory is unlikely to affect the power of the Democratic Party. But it could still indicate what might come for the Democrats in November.
Suburban shifts toward Democratic versus Republican candidates have helped alter the deep red status in recent election cycles.
Democratic Governor Andy Beshear’s victory last year against incumbent Matt Bevin, a Republican, was in part due to that surge in momentum from suburban voters, specifically white women who have drifted away from the Republican Party.
Kentucky Democrats have now set their sights on a larger, higher-profile election: the race between the United States Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, and challenger Amy McGrath.
McGrath, a moderate Democrat, was billed as the winner against Charles Booker, an African-American state lawmaker who gained momentum amid Black Lives Matter protests and the support of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Following her victory, Ms. McGrath is now aiming to potentially do the impossible by removing the top Republican from the United States Senate.
If the supposed blue wave is happening across the country, with Democrats garnering support in suburban districts and among white women and minority voters, Ms. McGrath could stand a chance against McConnell.