McGarvey awaiting GOP opponent in Kentucky’s 3rd District
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Morgan McGarvey will have to wait to find out who he will face in the Louisville-area congressional race as two Republicans remain locked in a close primary contest.
Now the Democratic nominee in Kentucky’s 3rd Congressional District, McGarvey won his party’s primary with the backing of retiring U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, currently the only Democrat in Kentucky’s congressional delegation. McGarvey, the Kentucky Senate’s highest-ranking Democrat, defeated state Rep. Attica Scott for the nomination.
Two Republicans, businessman Stuart Ray and former GOP nominee Rhonda Palazzo, were leading a field of seven candidates in the 3rd District GOP contest. The race was too close to call Tuesday night, and Palazzo said Wednesday she would ask for a recanvass of votes.
“I owe it to every voter of Kentucky’s (3rd District) to make sure that every single vote has been accounted for accurately,” Palazzo said in a statement on social media Wednesday.
A recanvass would take place on May 26, after officials receive a written request from a candidate, according to state officials. Palazzo must do so by next Tuesday, Kentucky Secretary of State spokeswoman Michon Lindstrom said. The race would be finalized by the state after the recanvass is complete.
Ray said Wednesday he has enough votes to be the nominee.
“With all the votes counted, the people spoke and elected me to represent them and their ideals in the November general election...” Ray said in a statement on his website.
The GOP race wouldn’t be finalized by state officials until after a possible recanvass is complete.
Palazzo won the district’s Republican nomination in 2020 but was soundly defeated by Yarmuth in the general election.
Ray, a former chairman of the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission board, greatly outspent Palazzo in this year’s campaign, raising around $340,000 to Palazzo’s $8,800.
McGarvey appeared in a downtown Louisville coffee shop with Gov. Andy Beshear on Wednesday afternoon, and Beshear offered his “full support” to the fellow Democrat.
“I know that I can work well with him so that we can get as much help from the federal government here in Kentucky, and I know that he is laser-focused on the issues that people worry about the most,” Beshear said.
The state’s five GOP U.S. House incumbents secured their party’s nomination in Tuesday’s primaries. U.S. Reps. Brett Guthrie, Thomas Massie, Hal Rogers and Andy Barr fended off challengers handily, while 1st District Congressman James Comer was unopposed. Comer will face Democrat Jimmy Ausbrooks, a professional counselor who won his party’s nomination without opposition, in the general election.
Massie was endorsed in his 4th District race by former President Donald Trump, though Trump once called the Kentucky conservative a “third rate Grandstander” after Massie tried to obstruct a COVID-19 relief package in 2020.
Massie will face Democrat Matthew Lehman, who had no primary opponent, in the fall.
Hal Rogers, Kentucky’s longest-serving congress member, will go against Democrat Conor Halbleib in the eastern Kentucky 5th District general election. Guthrie will face Democrat Hank Linderman in the 2nd District and Democrat Geoffrey Young, a perennial candidate, will face Barr in the 6th District race, which is dominated by Lexington. Barr is seeking his sixth term in a district reconfigured to strengthen Republicans’ hand during redistricting.
Piper Hudspeth Blackburn contributed to this report in Louisville, Ky.