3 Ky. seats up for grabs in November special elections

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) – While no regular primary or general elections were scheduled for 2021 in Kentucky, there will be three special elections to fill vacancies in the General Assembly and the matchups are set.


All three were held by Republicans at the time of the vacancies, two of which were by death and the other by resignation.


The 22nd Senate District seat was vacated by the death of Sen. Tom Buford, representing Garrard, Jessamine, Mercer and Washington Counties, and part of Fayette County. He spent 20 years in the Senate, before dying of cancer this past July at the age of 72. 


Those vying for his seat will be Republican Dr. Donald Douglas, who serves as the medical director at the Tony Delk IMAC Regeneration Center in Lexington, where he specializes in orthopedics and interventional pain medicine.  The Democrat is Helen Bukulmez, an attorney who says her job is to give voice to the voiceless.


The 51st House District vacancy was created due to the death of Rep. John “Bam” Carney, representing Adair and Taylor Counties.  He passed away in July at the University of Kentucky Medical Center.  In December 2019, Carney was diagnosed with a severe case of pancreatitis, which led to several life-threatening complications.


Those who want to succeed Carney are Republican Michael “Sarge” Pollock, who works as an insurance risk advisor in Campbellsville, and is a graduate of Campbellsville University.  Democrats have chosen former Taylor County Judge Executive Eddie Rogers as their candidate.


The 89th House District seat is open due to the resignation of Rep. Robert Goforth, representing Jackson County and parts of Laurel and Madison Counties. 


The special election candidates are Republican Timmy Truett, the principal at McKee Elementary School in Jackson County.  The Democratic nominee is Mae Suramek, the founder and owner of Noodle Nirvana, a restaurant in Berea.


The three people chosen in the Nov. 2 special election will be able to take their seats in time for the 2022 General Assembly, which begins in January.  They would also be able to participate in any special sessions called after the election results are certified.

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