BULLITT CO., Ky. (WHAS11) -- At her husband's side, a year ago, Rebecca Johnson was the wife of a state representative. Now, she'll be campaigning to take his former seat.
“You want to continue and do things but you really want to do this for the people of Bullitt County,” said Linda Belcher, Rebecca Johnson's opponent.
It's a role Linda Belcher knows all too well.
“Larry was killed October the 8th. The election was November the 6th, and the governor had come down and asked me if I would run,” Linda said.
In 2008, Linda's husband Larry was killed in a car accident near Bowling Green, a month before he was to run for re-election. Linda ran in his place, winning the seat. She would represent the 49th House District for three terms before Republican Dan Johnson beat her by less than 200 votes in 2016.
After a year as a state representative, a report was published accusing Representative Johnson of sexual abuse. Two days later, he took his own life. Like Linda, Rebecca Johnson will now run to replace her husband in a special election on February 20.
A Johnson family representative released this statement: "Rebecca will quickly be a leader in Frankfort. If the people of Bullitt County wanted the old guard back, they know how to dig them up."
Linda was chosen to represent the Democrats in the special election and Rebecca took the Republican nomination. Now, Linda says it's up to the voters to decide.
“I hope that they will first look passed any negativity, that they will concentrate on the issues, that they will look at each of the candidates and really examine what they have done for Bullitt County in the past,” Linda said.
Again, that special election will be on February 20. Since Linda and Rebecca have already been chosen by their respective parties, they can now start fundraising and campaigning.