Linda Belcher Wins Re-Election in Deep-Red Kentucky!

Linda Belcher and Rebecca Johnson

Linda Belcher and Rebecca Johnson

A Kentucky Democrat has won back her old seat in the state House of Representatives following a special election. Her win is a 36-point swing toward Democrats from her previous performance, and a 45-point swing from Hillary Clinton's performance in 2016.

Her victory Tuesday is the latest in a series of Democratic triumphs in special elections across the country over the past year.

"People are using their votes and voices to take a stand against the anti-Kentuckian policies of the Republican majority", Ben Self, chair of the Kentucky Democratic Party, said in a statement.

Belcher said it was "hard to say" if sexual assault allegations against Dan Johnson and his death played a part in the election, adding: "I have tried to stay very positive and away from that whole situation". Rebecca Johnson said her husband was innocent, a victim of "an assault from the left".

In their lone face-to-face encounter, Linda Belcher channeled her animated likeness and told Johnson, "I was gonna punch you, but I'm holding wine".

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In the end, Belcher easily defeated Johnson, marking the 37th Democratic victory in a Republican-held state legislative seat since the start of 2017.

The wife of Kentucky state Rep. Dan Johnson, who killed himself past year amid allegations of sexual assault, has lost a bid to succeed her late husband.

In office, Johnson helped Republicans pass the ambitious conservative agenda of Gov. Matt Bevin, R, making Kentucky a right-to-work state and banning abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.

Most voters were like Carol Schneider, 65, who gave her backing to Belcher. The special election returned the seat to Linda Belcher, whom Dan Johnson had unseated. She faced off against Belcher, aformer teacher and school administrator who had previously held the seat under strikingly similar circumstances: Belcher ran for the post after her husband, Rep. Larry Belcher, died in a auto crash in 2008. Rebecca Johnson, a Republican, received 1,561 votes, according to official results from Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.

The saga of Kentucky's House District 49 shows anything is possible - even deep in Trump country.

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