Talk about a change. The 99th District will be represented by a Republican for the first time since the Ronald Reagan administration.
That’s because Rocky Adkins, D-Sandy Hook, was in the seat from 1986 until recently accepting the position as Senior Adviser to Gov. Andy Beshear.
Enter Richard White, a Morehead businessman who, interestingly enough, couldn’t rely on Rowan County to propel him into the position. (Of course, Redwine’s 40-year-long tie to Morehead State University should be noted.) Rather, lopsided Lewis County provided the most significant boost to victory.
Democrat Bill Redwine collected just 394 votes in Lewis County as White racked up an impressive 2,056.
Elliott County, the home of Adkins, unsurprisingly went with the Democratic candidate; however, it was fairly close — 788 (Redwine) to 654 (White). Redwine is also a native of Sandy Hook.
Redwine edged White by 509 votes in Rowan County.
So, it was clearly Lewis County that supplied the difference. Why? Is it the Trump effect? Mac Brown, chairman of the Republican Party of Kentucky, says there’s no doubt.
“Tonight’s groundbreaking results should put Democrats on notice all across the state,” Brown said. “Kentucky voters want leaders who support President Trump. Our strong slate of candidates all across the state are well-positioned to even further expand our GOP legislative supermajorities in November.”
OK, Mr. Brown, we see your point, but don’t forget Andy Beshear, a Democrat, beat incumbent Matt Bevin, a Republican and Trump supporter, in the gubernatorial race mere months ago.
We believe it was simply this: Lewis County is Trump Country. If Richard White supports President Trump, Lewis County supports Richard White. Just look at the votes. That’s a landslide of epic proportions.
Although the Lewis County schools’ most prominent color is blue, it’s the deepest red county in northeastern Kentucky. Take a peek back at the gubernatorial election for proof, too.
The other school color? White. Fitting. Because of Lewis County, Richard White is now the 99th District representative.