The Herald-Leader is reporting on a rumor circulating in Kentucky Roll Call that we have heard elsewhere: that Republican Senators Dan Kelly (2008 score: 71) and Charlie Borders (71) are up for appointments, and that Governor Steve Beshear is likely to appoint them.
Sen. Kelly is the Republican Floor Leader and Sen. Borders is the Chairman of the Appropriations and Revenue Committee. Both are up for reelection in 2010.
Should these seats become vacancies though appointment, special elections will be held to fill the remainder of the term. One of the best sources for Senate candidates is the representatives of the same area in the Kentucky House.
Borders' district (Bracken, Carter, Greenup, Lewis, Mason and Robertson counties) is represented in the House by four Democrats: Mike Denham (2008 score: 49), Tanya Pullin (49), Tom McKee (49) and Robin Webb (29). Both Webb and Denham represent two of the six counties. Pullin and Webb each represent about one-third of the district's voters.
This is a district that votes conservatively, often splitting tickets for Republicans nationally and Democrats locally. While presidential candidate John McCain and US Representative Geoff Davis won the district handily, US Senator Mitch McConnell edged Democratic candidate Bruce Lunsford by only 2%. These numbers suggest that a Republican can be successful, but the most obvious candidates are Democrats.
Kelly's district (Marion, Mercer, Nelson, Taylor and Washington counties) is represented in the House by four Republicans and one Democrat: Republicans David Floyd (2008 score: 83), Mike Harmon (78), Jimmy Higdon (63) and Bam Carney (new); and Democrat Kent Stevens (new). The most populous county is Nelson, represented by David Floyd.
This district voted overwhelmingly for McCain, and gave about a 6% edge to McConnell. On the other hand, the four counties that lie in the 2nd US congressional district gave a slight edge to losing Democratic candidate David Boswell over US Representative Brett Guthrie in that race.
While Kent Stevens represents the one county that is not in the 2nd, the fact that he did not win Mercer probably eliminates him as a potential candidate in the 14th.
Both David Floyd and Mike Harmon scored above 70 in our 2008 ratings, and both ranked in the top 10 for 2007 and 2008. Harmon, though, represents the least populous county in this district. On the topic of the day, it is also relevant to note that Floyd voted for HB 2, the bill to allow video slots at racetracks, while Higdon and Carney voted no and Harmon did not vote.