Special election set for Nov. 2 to fill Goforth, 2 other assembly seats

Kentucky Secretary of State Michael Adams announced that special elections to fill three vacant seats will be held on November 2. Two seats in the House of Representatives and one in the Senate are vacant, including the seat vacated by Rep. Robert Goforth who resigned amid assault and domestic violence allegations.

Voters in Jackson County and parts of Laurel and Madison counties that comprise the 89th House District will vote on a replacement for Rep. Goforth. Goforth was arrested in April of 2002 on charges of first-degree strangulation, fourth-degree domestic assault, and third-degree terroristic threatening after assaulting his wife. During a fight Goforth attempted to strangle her with an ethernet cord and to hogtie her. Goforth resigned in August just ahead of an indictment handed down in Sept. The indictment charges him with one count of first-degree strangulation and one count of fourth-degree assault.

In other vacant seats, the 22nd Senate District covering Garrard, Jasamine, Mercer, and Washington counties, along with part of Fayette County will vote to fill the seat vacated by the death of Republican Sen. Tom Buford. Buford died in July after serving thirty years in the Kentucky Senate. The cause of his death was not released.

The death of 51-year-old Rep. John “Bam” Carney created a vacancy in Adair and Taylor Counties, the 51st House District. Carney, who had served since 2009 and was the Republican house majority floor leader from 2019 to 2021, died in mid-July of complications due to pancreatitis.

“These special elections will be historic — the first held following Kentucky’s most significant election reform since 1891,” Adams said in a statement. “I’m excited to now implement our nationally praised law that makes it easier to vote and harder to cheat.”

There were “no known cases” of voter fraud in Kentucky, according to Adams, in a statement released in November of 2020. Adams did not clarify which parts of the state laws prior to the 2020 elections made it easy to cheat.

Elections will be held on November 2, 2021. Further information will be forthcoming regarding mail-in ballots and poll hours.

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