Republican Rand Paul came from a dead heat in the polls three weeks ago to handily beat the Democratic state Attorney General Jack Conway in Tuesday’s election. Conway carried Louisville, Lexington, and a few pockets in eastern Kentucky, but he managed to carry little else in a poor state where Democrats enjoy a significant party registration.
Labor was strongly behind Conway (although not as much as his primary opponent), and most prognosticators believe the “Aqua Buddha” ad derailed any chance of a Conway victory.
Democrat John Yarmuth, an incumbent U.S. House representative from Louisville, scored a surprisingly easy victory over conservative Todd Lally. (Yarmuth was one of the few Democrats to tout his leadership on health care reform, the stimulus package, and financial reform.)
Ben Chandler, a moderate Democrat and the grandson of A.B. “Happy” Chandler (a former Kentucky governor and commissioner of Major League Baseball), held on to his Lexington-based congressional seat. Republicans swept all other congressional races in the state, and even in Louisville, the Democratic candidate for mayor barely escaped with a narrow win.