By Andrew Sission | United States
On November 6th, 2018 the people of my home district, Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District, will go to the polls to decide who will represent them in the House of Representatives. It doesn’t sound like much, a routine biyearly house election in Kentucky, how important can it be? That where it starts to get tricky, this election will actually be very important for both the Republicans and the Democrats not just in Kentucky, but on the national level.
Let’s start by looking at what makes up District 6. To start with Lexington-Fayette Urban County. Lexington is the second largest city in the state and the 60th largest city in the United States (by 2016 estimate). District 6 makes up 16 other counties surrounding Lexington. For those of you who don’t live in Kentucky, we have a lot of really small counties. Of those 16 other counties, the two most important and populous are Madison and Franklyn counties, both suburbs of Lexington.
Most people think of Kentucky as a solid Red state, and it is when it comes to presidents. In Kentucky, most of our political decisions are made in Lexington and Lousiville as that’s where most people live. They have a tendency to be blue counties.
Now let’s look at our presumptive candidates. For the Republicans, the nominee will most likely be incumbent Andy Barr. For the Democrats, it will most likely be Lexington Mayor Jim Gray. Gray will most likely carry Lexington and has the potential to win Madison or Franklyn counties if he campaigns right. Every other county in the district is a safe bet for Barr. If Gray can flip Madison or Franklyn county the election would get really tight.
How is this important on a national level? As of January 16th, the balance in the house sits at 238 Republicans and 193 Democrats with 4 vacancies (3 of which were held by Republicans). As you can tell by looking back on past Congressional elections, whatever the party of the president, the opposite party starts to win House and Senate elections. We saw the Republicans take the majority under Obama, will the same thing happen under Trump?
This is the first time that the Democrats have had a candidate that the party can get behind running for District 6 since 2013 (and even then it was tight). This will be an interesting election to watch, and hopefully, one that is not overlooked.
Image from Heavy.