Rep. Sannie Overly, D-Paris, Tuesday became the first woman ever elected to a Democratic state House leadership post, unseating Rep. Bob Damron, D-Nicholasville, for Caucus Chair.
But two other challengers failed in their attempts to win seats on the Democratic House leadership team.
Johnny Bell of Glasgow lost to current Democratic Whip Tommy Thompson of Owensboro and Arnold Simpson of Covington lost to Speaker Pro Tem Larry Clark of Louisville.
House Speaker Greg Stumbo of Prestonsburg and Majority Floor Leader Rocky Adkins of Sandy Hook had no opposition.
On the Republican side of the aisle, Jeff Hoover of Jamestown was re-elected Minority Leader with no opposition; Bob DeWeese of Louisville retained his post as Caucus Chair, turning back challenges from Brad Montell of Shelbyville and Steve Rudy of Paducah.
John “Bam” Carney of Campbellsville beat Adam Koenig of Erlanger for the post of Republican Whip. That post was vacant after Rep. Danny Ford of Mt. Vernon did not seek re-election to the House last fall.
Leadership posts are powerful positions, especially for the majority party. The five leaders determine who will chair important committees and their members, the flow of legislation and they can kill legislation they don’t like or punish lawmakers who have crossed them.
Votes are by secret ballot and vote tallies aren’t announced by the committee which counts them. But going most Democratic members said their sense was that all three races were likely to be close.
For the full story, see the print or e-edition of Wednesday's Glasgow Daily Times.