FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A former Republican lawmaker in Kentucky who lost his state House seat by one vote in November could get a second chance thanks to the state’s GOP majority.
A board of nine state lawmakers voted 6-3 Wednesday to recount the votes in Kentucky House District 13. All six Republicans on the panel voted for the recount, while three Democrats voted “no.”
Johnson got 6,318 votes on Election Day, but Democrat Jim Glenn got 6,319 votes. In some states, an outcome that close would trigger an automatic recount. But in Kentucky, a state law says candidates in state legislative races can appeal to the House of Representatives. That means a Republican-dominated chamber could decide if a Democrat can keep his seat.
“The full House is the final arbiter of who wins an election in the House and who is a member of the House,” said Republican state Rep. Jason Petrie, the chairman of the legislative panel that ordered the recount.
Democrats condemned the decision, with House Minority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins saying it “sets a terrible precedent.” Glenn, who attended Wednesday’s hearing, said it may cause voters to “question the election process altogether.”