Kentucky State House Control Headlines Early 2014 Campaigns

By Michael Gossum | 

BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) -- It's a big year for elections across the Commonwealth from United States Senator to county elections.

Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes said several more people filed for public office this year than in 2012.

"It reflects that the house race is really pretty close. Republicans have their best chance in 90 years to take a majority there. So, they've made a concentrated effort to try to recruit candidates in places where maybe they haven't fielded candidates before. Democrats are trying to do the same thing. When it's that close, you really want to fill as full a slate of candidates as you can," said Warren County Republicans Chairman Scott Lasley.

Lasley said it also has to do with more judicial races and a big senate race.

Another aspect of this is the rise of the tea party.

In Warren County alone, there are Tea Party candidates competing for positions like State Representative and Judge-Executive.

It's a potential division that could hurt republicans.

"In some cases it will hurt. In some cases the nice part is, we'll mobilize and energize a broader base, maybe get some folks that have not been real participatory. The question is really how these things come together after these primary battles," said Lasley.

"It's an opportunity for the democrat to come in as a solid candidate to sort of win the election. So, the republicans really worry that the Tea Party candidates will cipher off some of the voters that would have gone for the republican party," said Dr. Dr. Saundra Curry Ardrey, WKU Political Science Department Head.

Then there is always the tough task of running against an incumbent.

"An incumbent almost always wins. They're anywhere between 85 and 95% of getting re-elected," said Ardrey.

Whether you're incumbent, new, democrat or republican, many will have a big primary coming up in a few months.

May primaries this year will be held on May 20th with the general election coming up later in the year on November 4th.

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