State Democratic Party seeks candidates for senate special election

Published 3:53 pm Tuesday, February 7, 2023

In Kentucky, two of the 38 state senate seats are vacant, and the district that includes Winchester and Clark County is one of them, but the vacancy will be brief.

A special election for the 28th Senatorial District is scheduled for May 16 to replace Dr. Ralph Alvarado, who resigned earlier this month to take a public health position in Tennessee.

And while no candidates have filed as of Monday, the Kentucky Democratic Party is seeking input on who its candidate should be.

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Last Monday, the state party met with the Clark County party’s executive committee.

“It was mostly an organizational meeting,” said Karen Summers, the Fayette County Democratic Party chair. “We will have the nominating process.”

The party has high hopes for the search.

“I expect [us] to have a great candidate,” Summers said.

Any district resident from Clark Bath, Menifee, Montgomery counties and select portions of Fayette County who meet the eligibility requirements may throw their hat in the ring.

According to Kentucky law, a state senator must be 30 years old and be a Kentucky resident for at least six years.

Potential candidates must send a letter of interest should be sent to Summer via email at or to Clark County party chair Henry Branham via email at or by phone at 859-737-1709

The application deadline is 7:00 p.m. on Monday, February 13, and the nomination meeting will take place on February 16 at 6:30 p.m.

Interested parties will join a Zoom meeting and discuss for three to five minutes why they would be the best candidate.

Summers said that the nominee will have the party’s full support, whether that is having volunteers knocking on doors, creating a website or other means.

“We have to have money to get your name out there,” she said. “You’re [going to] have to have a treasurer. With a senate district, it’s hard for the candidate to actually knock on every door. We’ve also got a shorter, compressed time, so you’ll want to get more volunteers to get out. That’s still the best way to reach people.”

And with so much political division in the state,  Summers said she encourages voters to look at the broad picture regarding candidates.

“I think people are tending, in these divisive times, to vote strictly by party, and they’re not looking at candidates or the policies that impact them,” she said.