House 96: Analysis
It's been months since we took a look at the race for Senate 18 and noted that it could swing either way in a neutral set of circumstances. Since we looked at that race (back in July), a special election has come and long gone, Robin Webb now represents the district, and her seat in Carter and Lewis counties is open.
In 2008, while McCain handily defeated Obama in this district, McConnell edged Democratic challenger Bruce Lunsford by only 370 votes -- that's 2.5%. We would also note that Sen. Webb had significant pull in these counties, as strong turnout and a strong margin in her home counties carried her to victory in her Senate race.
Now, nominees have been selected to stand for election on December 8. The Republicans have selected Jill York and the Democrats Barry Webb (unrelated to Robin).
Barry Webb is a welder at AK Steel
"I think (Webb) came prepared with a very good campaign speech, so to say," said Carter County Democratic chair Ron Bush. "He was very concerned about the economy and the economy here in northeastern Kentucky."
Webb is employed as a maintenance welder at the AK Steel's Ashland coke plant and has served various elected positions in Local 523 of the United Steelworkers of America. This will be his first run for elected office.
"I've always been interested in politics and worked on a couple of Robin's campaigns and when this opportunity came along, I felt it was a very opportune time for someone like me to pursue it," Barry Webb said.
York is a former Carter county magistrate and is a small business owner who is active in the Carter business community
York formerly served as a magistrate for Carter County until 2006. She is on the Chamber of Commerce and is chairman of the Carter County Fair Board. She runs Print Works in Grayson.
"I think we have knowledgeable candidate whose community involvement is second to none," Harrison said.
This race will likely be overlooked as attention focuses on Senate 14, but as the seat won't affect the casino debate and is less likely to see casino money involved, it could serve as a better barometer of Kentucky's political mood.