FRANKFORT, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Republicans had hoped that special elections in 4 Kentucky House of Representative contests would give them shared power for the first time in nearly 100 years, instead Democrats won most of the seats up for grabs.
State Republican Party leaders are spinning Tuesday’s special election as getting them closer to a majority in the House of Representatives. But Democrats spent the night giving “UK 3 Goggles” and citing Governor Matt Bevin’s agenda as a reason they have a larger majority now than when they started the day.
Democrat leaders celebrated in Frankfort after taking 3 of the 4 seats in Tuesday's special election. Raw voter registration would suggest that Democrats should cruise to victory.
They won in Western Kentucky's 8th District which includes Christian and Trigg counties, Central Kentucky's 62nd District which includes parts of Fayette, Owen and Scott Counties and Northeast Kentucky's 98th District which is made up of Boyd and Greenup Counties.
Registered democrat voters outnumber republicans in each of those districts.
State Democratic leaders would not credit Governor Matt Bevin directly for the victory, but credited issues connected to his budget cuts for driving "D's" to the polls.
“We ran on standing up for our children's future, their education and for all of our healthcare”, Kentucky Democrat Party Chair, Representative Sannie Overly said. “And those are the issues that voters showed up and voted in favor of the democrats holding the majority in the Statehouse.”
The GOP victory came in Central Kentucky's 54th District which includes Boyle and Casey Counties where registered Republicans outnumber all other voters.
Party officials released a statement describing their victory and optimism for this fall when State senate and house seats are up for a vote.
"Republicans in the State House are one seat closer to taking the majority. With Republican candidates running in 91 House districts and the Democrats tied to the Obama-Clinton agenda, I am confident we will take the majority and turn Kentucky in a new direction in November," Mac Brown, Chairman of the Republican Party of Kentucky said.
It's a feeling shared by Governor Matt Bevin who tweed about being delighted to be a seat closer to the majority than where the Kentucky Republican Party started in November.
There's been an online debate about the special Election math.
Republicans began Tuesday with 46 seats, 1 win moves them to 47 seats. The Democrats started with 50 House seats. Three wins puts them at 53. Regardless of how you spin it, Democrats are 6 seats ahead of the GOP following the special election.
2 of the 4 seats up for grabs Tuesday were once held by Republicans.
Mike Harmon and Ryan Quarles both resigned after winning their races for State Auditor and State Ag Commissioner.
Only Harmon's seat stayed Republican during Tuesday's special election.