Published: Thu, February 22, 2018
Health Care | By Oscar Goodwin

Democrat Takes Kentucky House Seat in District Trump Won by 49 Points

Democrat Takes Kentucky House Seat in District Trump Won by 49 Points

In deep-red Kentucky, Democrat Linda Belcher sailed to victory in the state's 49th House District seat with 68% of the vote on Tuesday. That represents a 38-point point swing to the Democrats since the 2016 election, in which she lost to Dan Johnson, a thoroughly reprehensible person who turned out to be a Confederate sympathizer who called himself the "pope" of his church, lied about being President George W. Bush's chaplain at the World Trade Center after 9/11, and later faced accusations that he sexually molested an underage girl.

Johnson is the widow of Republican state Rep. Dan Johnson, who narrowly defeated Belcher, then an incumbent, in 2016 and committed suicide late previous year.

Tuesday's election was also one of the first signs in 2018 that Democrats have momentum heading into the pivotal midterm elections two years into Donald Trump's presidency. The special election returned the seat to Linda Belcher, whom Dan Johnson had unseated.

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Belcher's Tuesday victory marks the 37th state legislative seat that Democrats have picked up since Trump was elected. She faced off against Belcher, aformer teacher and school administrator who had previously held the seat under strikingly similar circumstances: Belcher ran for the post after her husband, Rep. Larry Belcher, died in a vehicle crash in 2008. She went on to serve in the legislature from 2008 to 2012, and from 2014 to 2016. Johnson was elected to the seat in November 2016.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has chose to leave a number of formerly GOP-held seats vacant rather than schedule special elections his party might lose, national Republicans are pushing the panic button on an upcoming special House election in Pennsylvania, and GOP leadership is letting scandal-plagued Rep. Blake Farenthold stick around in his seat rather than risk a special election.

"The results here show that if we can win in this district, we can win anywhere", said Ben Self, chairman of the Kentucky Democratic Party.

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It is believed the taxi driver, who called police on the night in question, has decided against pressing charges. The decision will come as some relief to Alan Pardew as he fights to remain in charge at the Hawthorns.

At her campaign headquarters in downtown Shepherdsville, Belcher said she won the election "fair and square".

Rebecca Johnson has defended her husband and has said the allegations against him are not true.

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