Kay's resounding victory

June 26, 2013 

Kentucky House's 56th District candidate Democrat James Kay

Congratulations to Democrat James Kay who overcame a flood of Republican PAC money and an Independent challenger to win the 56th District House seat in Tuesday's special election.

It's probably safe to say that never before in Kentucky history has so much campaign spending been hurled at so few voters. (A reported $450,000 so far, and the final campaign spending reports have yet to be filed.)

Also, voters in a House race have never had to endure so many robo-calls or such an avalanche of campaign mailings. So, hats off to the voters, who sorted through the sometimes outlandish claims and did their civic duty.

This special election took on unusual significance in a year when there are no national races because a victory by Republican Lyen Crews would have moved the Kentucky House, the last Democratic chamber in the South, closer to a GOP takeover.

The Republican attacks on Kay, including the use of Facebook-type photos to malign his character, might have backfired, though. Voters are sick of such attacks. And it's harder to make them stick when voters know a candidate personally. Kay and his family are well known, and, apparently, well respected, in Woodford and Franklin counties.

Independent John-Mark Hack, who we endorsed, claimed more than one in five votes, respectable for an Independent, though short of igniting a third-way movement.

Kay will arrive in the legislature with a healthy mandate and a lot of support from House Democrats who campaigned hard on his behalf. We wish him well.

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