FRANKFORT — Lyen Crews, vice president of business and financial affairs at Midway College, is the Republican Party's nominee for the June 25 special election for the House 56th District seat.
Republican leaders from the district approved Crews on Tuesday night at a meeting in Versailles. The district includes Woodford County and parts of Fayette and Franklin counties.
Three other Republicans sought the nomination, but the party did not identify them.
A news release from the Kentucky Republican Party said the other candidates withdrew after Crews presented his candidacy, and all endorsed him.
Crews will face Democrat James L. Kay II of Woodford County, who was selected Monday night as his party's nominee. Kay, an attorney, filed candidacy papers Tuesday with the secretary of state.
Gov. Steve Beshear set the special election date after Democrat Carl Rollins of Midway resigned from the legislature to become chief executive of Kentucky's higher education loan agencies.
Kay said he sought the Democratic nomination because he believes he can contribute to help the residents of the 56th District.
Crews, in a statement, said, "I would like nothing more than to represent our district and send a message to Barack Obama and the liberals in Washington and Frankfort."
He also said he wants to help Republicans gain control of the state House.
The House, including Rollins, has a membership of 55 Democrats and 45 Republicans.
Republicans want to take over the House next year, when all 100 House seats are up for election. The GOP already controls the state Senate.
In 2010, Crews lost to Rollins by 744 votes in the district, capturing 47.7 percent of the vote.
State Republican Party Chairman Steve Robertson noted that Republican Mitt Romney defeated Democrat Obama in last year's presidential election in the 56th District with nearly 60 percent of the vote, and Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Barr pulled out a narrow victory in the district over Democrat Ben Chandler of Woodford County in Central Kentucky's 6th Congressional District race.
"Lyen Crews has the right background to understand what Kentuckians need in government, and he has the right experience to curb spending and help put an end to the liberal agenda of so many politicians in Frankfort," Robertson said.
Democrats hold the majority in the district. It has 18,125 Democrats, 10,256 Republicans and 2,219 registered with other parties.
Jack Brammer: (859) 231-1302. Twitter: @BGPolitics. Blog: bluegrasspolitics.bloginky.com