sunny.png
Saturday August 8th, 2020 7:40PM

GOP candidate withdraws challenge for Kentucky House seat

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — His political future down to a coin flip, a Kentucky Republican walked away from an election challenge Friday in a decision that will keep a Democrat in the state legislature and likely avoid a lengthy lawsuit.

Democrat Jim Glenn defeated Republican DJ Johnson on Election Day by a one-vote margin. Kentucky has no automatic recounts, so the State Board of Elections certified Glenn as the winner.

But Johnson had asked the GOP-dominated House of Representatives for a recount, relying on a rarely used state law that lets legislative candidates contest election results. That recount found nine additional votes — five for Johnson and four for Glenn — giving each candidate 6,323 votes.

Johnson's attorney told lawmakers on Friday that they had to pick a winner by drawing lots, suggesting a coin flip or picking a name out of a hat. But Glenn's lawyer vowed to file a lawsuit should he be removed from office.

That's when Johnson withdrew his challenge.

"Unfortunately, Mr. Glenn chooses not to accept what this board does, chooses not to accept the rule of law," Johnson said. "The best solution would be for me to win the coin toss and I get seated. That would be best for me. What's best for my district, what's best for people in my community, is that we end this."

Glenn shook Johnson's hand after the meeting and thanked him for his decision. But Glenn disputed Johnson's characterization that he was not accepting "the rule of law."

"I'm a grown man. I won this race," Glenn said. "I wasn't planning to go back for a coin toss. We're not in elementary school where we are shooting marbles. This is serious business."

The decision also saves the Republican majority in the state House of Representatives from potentially having to remove a Democrat from office. When Johnson contested the election, the House appointed six Republicans and three Democrats — all chosen by random drawing — to an Election Contest Board to oversee the process.

Republican state Rep. Jason Petrie, the board's chairman, vowed to follow the law. But he also noted the final decision of who won the election lies with the House of Representatives, where Republicans control 61 out of 100 seats. Democrats criticized the process as overly partisan, and Glenn's lawyer had asked the state's Democratic Attorney General Andy Beshear to investigate.

All of that went away on Friday when Johnson withdrew his challenge.

"The recount did not give us that definitive voice of the people, and that makes us disappointed," Petrie said. "Mr. Johnson made the right call. ... If we go through a draw-by-lot or coin flip, then that's not the voice of the people, that's just luck."

Last week, the Daviess County Clerk's Office recounted more than 12,000 ballots by hand. When they finished, Glenn led by three votes. But after a personal appeal form Johnson and his attorney, the Daviess County Board of Elections reversed an earlier decision and gave him one of those votes back.

The board then decided to open five absentee ballots they had rejected on Election Day for various reasons. Of those five votes, one was blank, Johnson received three and Glenn received one — giving each candidate 6,323 votes.

Nationwide, at least 80 recounts resulted from the 2018 elections, changing an average of 4.8 votes per race, according to research form Johnson's legal team. Of those races, five had been decided by a one-vote margin.

The Kentucky House of Representatives had essentially been on hold while the election challenge was pending, not voting on any legislation. That will change Monday when lawmakers return. Glenn said he plans to spend the day Friday filing several bills.

"I'm going to move on and try to help the people of the 13th district," he said.

Johnson said he would return home and "get my life back in order" and decide what to do next. He said he did not know if he would run against Glenn again in 2020.

"I will leave it at this: I did not throw away my yard signs," he said.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP Elections, General Election News, General House Election News
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Virginia gov says he won't quit; new allegation hits deputy
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has told top staff that he is not going to resign over a racist photo as another sexual assault accusation was leveled at his lieutenant governor, who would succeed him if he stepped down
7:27PM ( 19 minutes ago )
O'Rourke to lead anti-wall march during Trump Texas rally
Beto O'Rourke will lead a march though his hometown of El Paso, Texas, to protest a border wall at the same time President Donald Trump will be holding a rally there to promote it
7:10PM ( 36 minutes ago )
Cindy McCain apology shows challenge for mixed-race families
Cindy McCain is apologizing after inaccurately claiming that she stopped human trafficking at the Phoenix airport when she reported a toddler with a woman of a different ethnicity and "something didn't click."
6:59PM ( 47 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Amid sanctions calls, Saudis deny prince had role in slaying
A top Saudi official is insisting the crown prince had no role in the October slaying of a Washington Post columnist, saying the trial of the suspects and the ongoing investigation would show it was a "rogue operation" with no official backing
5:54PM ( 1 hour ago )
Acting AG overseeing Mueller probe says he's not interfered
Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker insists he has "not interfered in any way" in the special counsel's Russia investigation
5:53PM ( 1 hour ago )
Arizona health facility rape spurs video surveillance push
Arizona is trying to catch up to 10 states that laws allowing electronic monitoring and other technology aimed at deterring abuse of vulnerable people at long-term care facilities
5:52PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Official: Virginia governor says he won't resign over photo
A senior official in Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam's administration says the governor has told his top staff that he does not plan to resign over a racist photo despite intense pressure to step down
4:35PM ( 3 hours ago )
Let's talk: White House throws bipartisan Camp David retreat
White House Acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney isn't setting any lofty goals for this weekend's meeting with a bipartisan mix of legislators at Camp David
4:25PM ( 3 hours ago )
In or out of the House, John Dingell was at home on Twitter
John Dingell was long known for his dry takes and quick wit alongside his mastery of legislative deal-making. But the longest-serving Congress member's musings on Twitter caught people by surprise and kept him au courant.
4:17PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
US peace envoy says talks with Taliban far from finished
The Trump administration's peace envoy for Afghanistan says negotiations with the Taliban have a long way to go to achieve peace
4:39PM ( 3 hours ago )
The Latest: Booker stresses social justice in Iowa stop
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker is taking his call for social justice to Iowa, where he was visiting with African-American leaders on his first trip to the early 2020 caucus state as a Democratic presidential candidate
3:06PM ( 4 hours ago )
Virginia Dems brace for 2020 political fallout from scandal
The political crisis in Virginia threatens to turn a state that has trended Democratic back into a battleground, and that could complicate the party's effort to defeat President Donald Trump next year
2:18PM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Elections
Candidates register for 1st Thai general election since coup
Candidates in Thailand's first general election since the military seized power in 2014 have begun registering, as supporters wave banners and chant slogans in political activity that until recently was illegal
6:29AM ( 4 days ago )
FEC flags Arizona senator for excessive campaign donations
The Federal Election Commission says Arizona Sen. Martha McSally may have accepted $270,000 in campaign contributions that exceeded legal limits
8:46PM ( 1 week ago )
Feds flag Arizona senator for excessive campaign donations
The Federal Election Commission says Arizona Sen. Martha McSally may have accepted $270,000 in campaign contributions that exceeded legal limits
5:14PM ( 1 week ago )
General Election News
Dems turn focus to tax returns - and Trump's loom largest
The new Democratic-controlled House is looking at proposals to compel presidents and presidential candidates to make public years of their tax returns
3:24PM ( 1 day ago )
Unbowed by Trump, Democrats charge ahead with investigations
President Donald Trump has warned Congress that investigations and legislation don't mix
11:48PM ( 1 day ago )
Democrats charge ahead with investigations unbowed by Trump
President Donald Trump has warned Congress that investigations and legislation don't mix
5:26PM ( 2 days ago )
General House Election News
Virginia gov says he won't quit; new allegation hits deputy
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has told top staff that he is not going to resign over a racist photo as another sexual assault accusation was leveled at his lieutenant governor, who would succeed him if he stepped down
7:27PM ( 19 minutes ago )
O'Rourke to lead anti-wall march during Trump Texas rally
Beto O'Rourke will lead a march though his hometown of El Paso, Texas, to protest a border wall at the same time President Donald Trump will be holding a rally there to promote it
7:10PM ( 36 minutes ago )
Cindy McCain apology shows challenge for mixed-race families
Cindy McCain is apologizing after inaccurately claiming that she stopped human trafficking at the Phoenix airport when she reported a toddler with a woman of a different ethnicity and "something didn't click."
6:59PM ( 47 minutes ago )
Janelle Monae applauds jump in Grammy nominations for women
Janelle Monae hosted a pre-Grammy brunch Friday to celebrate her Grammy nominations, including a bid for album of the year for her groundbreaking album, "Dirty Computer."
6:55PM ( 51 minutes ago )
Janelle Monae celebrates jump in women Grammy nominees
Janelle Monae hosted a pre-Grammy brunch Friday to celebrate her Grammy nominations, including a bid for album of the year for her groundbreaking album, "Dirty Computer."
6:48PM ( 58 minutes ago )