5:06pm

Wed January 15, 2014
State Capitol

Amendment To Consolidate Statewide, National Elections Moves In Senate

A proposal to change the timing of elections for Kentucky’s statewide officers has sailed out of a Senate committee.  If it passes the House and voters approve the constitutional amendment, statewide races for governor, attorney general, and agriculture commissioner would coincide with national elections.  Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer supports the change.

FRANKFORT— Sen. Reginald Thomas, D-Lexington (left), confers with Sen. Paul Hornback, R-Shelbyville, in the Kentucky Senate.
Credit Legislative Research Commission

"I think you could argue a more practical approach would be to do for the next cycle of statewide elections, but we need cost savings in government now,” said Thayer. Critics say, since Kentucky Republicans fare well during congressional races, they would also benefit if statewide races were held in the same year.  Still, rookie Democrat Reggie Thomas of Lexington cast a cautious yes vote. “I mean I want people to elect a Kentucky governor for Kentucky reasons and for Kentucky concerns and not be influenced by national trends or national sentiments, so that’s what I mean by the political costs,” said Thomas. A similar bill previously passed the state senate but failed in the House.  If approved this session, the amendment would go on this November’s ballot.