FRANKFORT — UPDATE: The Democrat caucus selected Monticello businessman Harvey Shearer on Monday night.
As Sara Beth Gregory was officially assuming the 16th District seat in the Kentucky State Senate last Tuesday, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes was announcing that the special election to fill the vacancy in the 52nd State Representative District will be held on February 12.
Sen. Gregory served the 52nd District — currently comprised of McCreary, Wayne and a portion of Pulaski counties — for one term and had been elected to a second when she successfully ran last month for the 16th Senate District seat vacated by now-Circuit Judge David Williams.
Governor Steve Beshear issued a writ on January 7 calling for an election to fill the latest vacancy.
A special election such as this differs from a regularly scheduled election because the candidates must be nominated by fellow members of their party.
On Thursday, area Republican leaders met in Burnside — selecting Ken Upchurch of Monticello to serve as their nominee.
Upchurch, 43, held the House seat for 12 years (beginning in 1999) before giving it up in an unsuccessful bid to become Wayne County Judge-Executive. During his tenure as state representative, Upchurch served as Minority Whip (2003-06) and vice chaired the House Committee on Agriculture and Small Business.
Area Democrats were unable to select a nominee on Saturday and were scheduled to meet in Monticello last night. Among those vying for that nomination was former McCreary County magistrate (District 4) Ted Coffey but results were not available at press time.
Party nominees as well as Independent and write-in candidates must file candidacy documents (certificates, petitions and declarations) with the Secretary of State by 4 p.m. EST today.