Northeastern Kentucky’s 98th House District will continue to be represented by a Democrat this year following Lew Nicholls’ defeat of Republican Tony Quillen in Tuesday’s special election.
The 98th District covers parts of Boyd and Greenup counties. It had been represented by Democrat Tanya Pullin, who resigned to accept Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s appointment as an administrative law judge in the Kentucky Department of Workers Claims.
Tuesday’s special election decided who will serve the rest of Pullin’s term this year, including the final weeks of the 2016 General Assembly. The Nov. 7 election will determine who gets the next full two-year term. Nicholls is the sole Democratic candidate in that election; Quillen will face Danny Bentley of Russell in the Republican primary in May.
Nicholls, 65, of Greenup, is a retired circuit and district court judge. As a state representative, Nicholls said, he will focus on finding jobs for the district, especially with the shutdown of AK Steel; fighting drugs, and enhancing education. He noted that he started three drug courts in northeastern Kentucky while serving as a judge.
Nicholls said he would be a strong voice against “right-to-work” legislation that would prohibit unions from requiring employees to pay dues at a unionized workplace.