Paul wins third term; constitutional amendments rejected

Published 9:30 am Wednesday, November 9, 2022

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Republican Rand Paul easily won a third term in the U.S. Senate, defeating Democrat Charles Booker, a former state representative from Jefferson County, at the top of the Nov. 8 general election ballot in Kentucky.

In his victory speech, Paul said, “It is my hope that as our nation moves forward, the anger, the vitriol, and even the death threats will abate. Surely, there is common cause in the concept that a limited, constitutional government allows people from all walks of life, to live peacefully together as long as they don’t commit aggression against others.”

He also spoke about the importance of the First Amendment, especially free speech versus censorship.  “To protect free speech, Congress must absolutely must, prohibit government’s collusion with Big Tech.  If Americans care enough about protecting free speech, then Americans should reject and if need be, boycott companies who censor speech. Truth, whether it be scientific or political, can only be determined by disputation and voluntary acceptance.”

Paul added, “The greatest originator of misinformation, the Government, cannot be the arbiter of truth.  Both left and right need to wake up and acknowledge that government should never be allowed to create any entity that even resembles a  Ministry of Truth.”

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Speaking to his supporters, Booker said, “I know that Kentucky deserves better; I know we deserve better. I am proud of us because we didn’t give in to the naysayers and the doubters, we stood up. We were going to fight anyhow because that’s what Kentucky is all about.”

In the only open Congressional race, Jefferson County’s third district, Democrat Morgan McGarvey, the State Senate Minority Leader, defeated Republican Stuart Ray by nearly a 2-to-1 margin.

During his victory speech, McGarvey talked about being able to get bills passed, even though he was in the super-minority, by working across the aisle. “I have never accepted the notion that we can’t do something if we’re willing to listen. If we are willing to work together, if we are willing to build consensus instead of finger-pointing and name-calling or spreading disinformation, there is no limit to what we can achieve.”

Kentucky’s Congressional incumbents, all Republicans, each won reelection. James Comer in the 1st District, Brett Guthrie in the 2nd, Thomas Massie in the 4th, Hal Rogers in the 5th and Andy Barr in the 6th.

The two Constitutional Amendments that were on the ballot appeared headed for defeat into the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Amendment 1 would allow the General Assembly to call themselves into special sessions. Currently, only the governor can summon lawmakers to Frankfort for a special session. It would also permit lawmakers to continue regular sessions past the constitutionally mandated limits of 30 days in odd-numbered years and 45 legislative days in even-numbered years. The vote was 54-46% against with 85% counted.

Amendment 2 would have banned all abortions in Kentucky unless the life of the mother was in jeopardy. Although Kentucky is widely considered one of the most pro-life states in the country, one of the reasons given for its defeat was the failure to include language permitting abortion in the case of rape or incest. The vote was 52-47% with 86% counted.

There will be two new faces on the Kentucky Supreme Court in January. In the 2nd District, centered around Bowling Green, where Chief Justice John D. Minton, Jr., is retiring, Court of Appeals Judge Kelly Thompson defeated Shawn Alcott. In the 4th District, contained in Jefferson County, where Justice Lisabeth Hughes is retiring, Jefferson Circuit Judge Angela Bisig defeated Jason Bowman.

In the other Supreme Court race, the 6th District, which includes northern Kentucky, incumbent Justice Michelle Keller turned back a challenge by Rep. Joseph Fischer, who gave up his seat to run for the high court.