Tuesday, December 8, 2009

572. What do I know?

Two Special Elections were held today in Kentucky, filling empty seats in our General Assembly - one in the House, one in the Senate. I made several predictions on the Senate race, a race I seemed pretty sure of. I wasn't as confident in the House race, further away geographically than the Senate seat, my jusitifcation for not knowing enough to offer my highly unqualifed guess as to what might happen.

The senate race was in Kentucky's 14th Seante District, which covers territory in Nelson, Washington, Mercer, Marion, and Taylor counties, some of the prettiest and most historic areas of the state. Nelson was the first county formed after the original split of Kentucky County, Virginia into Fayette, Jefferson, and Lincoln counties. Nelson took all of its territory from Jefferson. Washington is home to the little log cabin where Thomas and Nancy Lincoln made their wedding vows in 1806. Three years (and a few counties) away, a son was born, savior of the Union, one Abraham, 16th president of the United States of America. Mercer is home to Old Fort Harrod State Park in downtown Harrodsburg, which itself is the oldest city in the Commonwealth and was the original county seat of Kentucky County, Virginia. Marion County, the geographic center of the Commonwealth, has place names like Holy Cross, St. Charles, St. Francis, St. Mary, and Raywick indicating its Catholic roots. (What, you've never heard of Saint Raywick?). They recently opened a new government center in the courthouse town of Lebanon. South of Marion is Taylor County, decidedly not Catholic, but Baptist, and home to Campbellsville University, Green River Lake, and Tebbs Bend, where the cemetery holds the remains of two cousins of mine, James and Alexander Hockensmith, foot soldiers of the Confederate States of America.

The senator from this area for many years has been a Republican and most political pundits figured the seat would stay Republican. I was not one of those. Going out on a limb (apparently with a saw in tow), I made several predictions in this race, only two of which were correct. I predicted that the Democratic candidate, Jodie Haydon, would carry his home county of Nelson, which he did. I also predicted Senator-elect Jimmie Higdon would win his home county, Marion, and one other, Taylor. He did. There ends the successes of my prognosticating. I got the other two counties wrong as well as the turnout and the end result. I predicted a turnout of 22%, it was 24%. I predicted a win for the Democrats - I was wrong.

This only goes to prove that I know very little outside of Jefferson County politics. I wish that wasn't the case, but it is. The good news is that in a statewide race, Jefferson accounts for about 1/6 of the total vote. As long as I stick to what I know, I might possibly have a chance at redemption. If not, I could take my books, relocate to five acres in Bullitt County, home of my paternal grandmother's forefathers, the Lee family, and tend to a garden of tomatoes, peppers, corn, lettuce, and pumpkin. That really doesn't sound like too bad of a plan.


Here below are the results for both race, both of which were won by the Republican candidate.

Unofficial results for State Senate 14th District

Marion County 2,860, Higdon (R) - 1,405, Haydon (D)

Mercer 1,542, Higdon - 1,186, Haydon

Nelson 2,982, Higdon - 3,840, Haydon

Taylor 2,612, Higdon - 1,396, Haydon

Washington 1,331, Higdon - 1,054, Haydon

Totals: 11,327, Hidgon - 8,881, Haydon

Total Registered Voters = 83,416
Total Votes Cast = 20,208
Turnout = 24%


Unofficial results for State Representative 96th District

Carter 1,702, Jill York (R) - 1,285, Barry Webb (D)

Lewis 843, York - 378, Webb

Total: 2,545, York - 1,663, Webb

Total Registered Voters = 29,112
Total Votes Cast = 4,208
Turnout = 14%

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Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Never married, liberal Democrat, born in 1960, opinionated but generally pleasant, member of the Episcopal Church. Graduate of Prestonia Elementary, Durrett High, and Spalding University; the first two now-closed Jefferson County Public Schools, the latter a very small liberal arts college in downtown Louisville affiliated with the Roman Catholic Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. My vocation and avocation is politics. My favorite pastime is driving the backroads of Kentucky and southern Indiana, visiting small towns, political hangouts, courthouses, churches, and cemeteries. You are welcome to ride with me sometime.