Politics & Government

Patrick Hughes resigns as state Democratic Party chairman

Patrick Hughes informed members of the state Democratic Party’s governing board late Friday that he plans to step down as party chairman and return to his law practice in Edgewood.

In an email, Hughes, who became the party chairman last year to assist the unsuccessful gubernatorial campaign of Jack Conway, said he wants “to facilitate a smooth transition to a new chair so as to maximize the Democrats’ opportunities to preserve, and perhaps strengthen, their majority in the Kentucky House of Representatives.”

A panel has been formed to search for a chairman, Hughes said.

Democrats hold a 50-46 advantage in the 100-member House, with special elections set for March 8 in four House Districts to fill vacancies. Democrats have controlled the state House since 1921.

Republicans say it’s inevitable they will soon control the House. They now control the governor’s office and the state Senate.

House Minority Leader Jeff Hoover, R-Jamestown, said late last week that Monday could be a historic day in the state. He remained coy about what might happen.

Speculation has focused on the possible appointment of House Democrats to jobs in the Republican administration of Gov. Matt Bevin and on the possibility that some House Democrats might switch parties.

But several Democrats have said they believe Democrats will keep their majority after all 100 House elections are held in November.