LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A slew of Democratic incumbents overcame the unpopularity of President Barack Obama to win new terms Tuesday night in the Kentucky House, frustrating Republicans hoping to make considerable inroads with a trickle-down effect from the presidential race.
But Republicans, stuck in the House minority, still looked to add to their numbers in a handful of House races in western Kentucky, once a Democratic stronghold that has trended toward Republicans. They ran ads tying their opponents to the Democratic president, who lost to GOP rival Mitt Romney by a wide margin in Kentucky.
Meanwhile, former congressman Carroll Hubbard failed in his latest bid for a political comeback, losing a Kentucky Senate race. Hubbard was defeated by Trigg County Judge-Executive Stan Humphries in their western Kentucky district.
Hubbard, a Mayfield Democrat, represented Kentucky in Congress for 18 years. He lost his 1992 re-election bid after being caught up in the House banking scandal. He pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations and went to prison in 1995.
Hubbard lost his run for the same state Senate seat four years ago to GOP Sen. Ken Winters, who did not seek another term this year.
In the House, an array of Democratic incumbents held on for re-election as their party looked to retain their historic majority status.
Democrats picked up a House seat in Louisville, where Denver “Denny” Butler defeated first-term GOP Rep. Mike Nemes. Butler will follow in the footsteps of his father, who served in the House for years.
Republicans gained a seat in western Kentucky with the election of Kenny Imes, who defeated Democrat Hal Kemp for the seat that has been held by Democrat Melvin Henley.
Republicans picked up another seat in northern Kentucky, where Brian Linder defeated Democrat Wanda Hammons. The seat has been held by longtime Democratic Rep. Royce Adams.
Republicans still hoped to flip at least a couple of other seats in western Kentucky where their candidates were leading Democratic opponents.
But Democrats appeared to have frustrated Republican efforts to take control of the House, which has been a Democratic stronghold that has countered the GOP-led Senate.
Meanwhile, Republicans kept their solid control of the Senate in Tuesday’s results.
Voters returned former state Sen. Albert Robinson to the General Assembly. Robinson, a Republican, defeated Democratic businesswoman Amie Hacker in an eastern Kentucky district. Robinson succeeds Republican Tom Jensen, who headed the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Senate Majority Leader Robert Stivers cruised to re-election, putting him in line as a possible successor to David Williams as the Senate’s next top leader. Stivers, a Manchester Republican, easily defeated Democrat Ralph Hoskins in their eastern Kentucky district.
Stivers has been mentioned as a possible replacement for Williams as Senate president. Williams resigned from the Senate recently to become a circuit judge in southern Kentucky.
In another Senate race, Democratic Sen. Julian Carroll defeated Republican Frank Haynes. Carroll is a former Kentucky governor.