Ky. GOP leaders pleased with ‘absolutely historic’ election


FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – Kentucky Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer summed up Tuesday’s election in one sentence.

“In Kentucky, the ‘Big Blue Wave’ hit a big red wall,“ he said.

He and Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, spoke to reporters on Wednesday on what the results mean in Kentucky.

Thayer called the election “absolutely historic” for Republicans.

“We sent a message nationally with the re-election of [Sixth District] Congressman Andy Barr,” he said.  “We didn’t lose as many governor’s races as we thought we would. We lost a minimum number of House seats.  I saw a stat where it’s the lowest number of House seats lost by a President’s party in a long, long time.”

Thayer also offered a prediction for Washington for the next two years.

“Under the leadership of Nancy Pelosi, the House of Representatives will be completely dysfunctional.  The adults in the room will be the U.S. Senate, led by Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell, where we’ll be confirming judge after judge after judge.”

He said the people will see what Democrats are like when they get control of something “and in 2020, we’ll gain back the House of Representatives, Donald Trump will be re-elected, and you can write it down right now: Matt Bevin is going to be re-elected governor of Kentucky.  That’s what we’ll be talking about a year from now.  This is just the beginning.”

Stivers said the election results saw the Kentucky Education Association lose, while teachers won big. 

“Teachers have been telling me they know who stood up for them, tried to protect their pensions, and repair a system that was in disrepair, because the prior Administration and leadership of that Administration,” he said.

The Senate President added: “I think when teachers saw we were fully funding their pension, we’re putting more per pupil in education, and that we were trying to correct a problem that they knew, and a lot of other people knew, went well beyond just a funding issue.  They knew we were truly trying to support them, and they were being misguided.  I had numerous teachers come up to me and say, ‘this is not the information we were given.  Now that we see what was there, we understand what you were doing.’  The union was filling them with misinformation.”     

Stivers called Tuesday’s results the biggest, most important election at the state level he can remember. 

“This state is more ‘red’ than at any other time, because with the increased turnout, Republicans do better,” he said. “Getting through this with supermajorities in both chambers, I don’t guarantee much, but I will guarantee that we will not be losing seats in 2020.  That means in 2021 we will do redistricting in this state.”

Stivers pointed out that when redistricting was last done in 2013 it was under then-Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo.  “Those districts were drawn to be most conducive to make sure Greg Stumbo stayed as the Speaker,” he said. “That won’t happen in 2021.  We’ll make them fair districts, competitive districts, and not slanted districts purely for Democrats.  Therefore, for the next decade, I see both the House and the Senate, no matter what Governor is elected from whichever party, being in control of the Republicans.”

Republicans, who held every seat up for re-election, picked up one more seat in the Senate on Tuesday, when Minority Caucus Chairman Dorsey Ridley, D-Henderson, lost his re-election bid to Republican Robert “Robby” Mills, giving them a 28-10 supermajority.    




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