Candidates begin filing for legislative offices

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) -- The results are not official yet from the 2019 General Election in Kentucky, but candidates are already filing their papers for 2020 legislative races.

According to state law, the period to file opens the day after the election, and due to changes made by the General Assembly during this year’s legislative session, the deadline for 2020 legislative candidates has been moved from Jan. 28 to Jan. 10.

The first to show up at the Secretary of State’s office on Wednesday was Rep. Tom Burch, D-Louisville, to file for reelection. Born in 1931, Burch has served in the House from 1972-1975 and again from 1978 to the present time. His 30th District encompasses part of central Jefferson County.

A short time later, Rep. Mark Hart, R-Falmouth, filed his papers to seek a third term in the House. Born in 1968, and a member of the House since 2017, Hart’s 78th District includes Harrison, Pendleton and part of Scott counties.

Wednesday afternoon, Rep. Joe Graviss, D-Versailles, filed for a different office, the 7th District Senate seat being given up by Julian Carroll, who announced earlier this year that he would not seek re-election in 2020. As well as Woodford County, Graviss’ home, the Senate district also includes Anderson, Franklin, Gallatin and Owen counties.

The final candidate to on the first day of the filing period was Democrat Scott Sykes of Elkhorn City, for the 31st Senate District. It is currently held by Phillip Wheeler, R-Pikeville, who won the seat which was vacated when Ray Jones ran a successful race for Pike County Judge-Executive. The 31st District includes Elliott, Lawrence, Martin, Morgan and Pike counties.

One reason the filing deadline was moved up, according to veteran observers of the General Assembly, was because lawmakers don’t like to vote on controversial measures until after the filing deadline, so potential opponents can’t use those votes against them during a campaign.

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