State Dems re-elect McGarvey, Parrett as minority leaders

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) -- Kentucky Senate Democrats announced their leadership team for the next two years on Monday.

Sen. Morgan McGarvey, of Louisville, was re-elected as minority floor leader, and Sen. Dennis Parrett, of Elizabethtown, won another term as minority whip. 

Sen. Reggie Thomas, of Lexington, was chosen as minority caucus chair.  He replaces Sen. Johnny Ray Turner of Prestonsburg, who lost his re-election bid in November to Republican Johnnie L. Turner of Harlan.

“I am proud of the leadership team we have moving forward,” McGarvey said. “We have a lot of work ahead of us, and we know it won’t be easy with supermajorities in the Senate and House. However, with this group, we are committed to fighting for issues that will benefit everyday Kentuckians.”

Parrett, who will now have a second term as minority whip, stated, “I want to thank my colleagues for the confidence they have in me serving as whip.  I am hopeful this session we can get to work and make Kentucky the best it can be, a place where people want to live, build a home and raise their families.”

Thomas, the newcomer to the leadership team, said, “I am honored that my colleagues have selected me to serve as the Senate Democratic Caucus chair.  We have a lot of work ahead of this session, and I look forward to working across the aisle with my legislative colleagues to address the challenges facing our state.”

In addition to the race between the two Turners, the November general election saw Republicans take an open seat from the Democratic column when Julian Carroll decided not to run. 

The GOP’s Adrienne Southworth, of Lawrenceburg, prevailed in a three-way race, with Joe Graviss, a state representative from Versailles; and Ken Carroll, Julian Carroll’s son, who ran as an independent.

Republicans now hold 30 of the 38 Senate seats and have a 75-25 supermajority in the House.

The 2021 General Assembly begins on January 5.

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