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Democratic Kentucky House Member Switching Parties

Legislative Research Commission

A Kentucky state House representative says he has switched parties and will run for re-election as a Republican.  Rep. Denver Butler filed for re-election on Thursday as a Republican, according to the Kentucky Secretary of State's office. His switch means Republicans are just four seats short of a majority, something they have not had in nearly a century. Kentucky is the only southern state to have a Democratic controlled House of Representatives.

But Republicans are losing two members who won statewide election earlier this month. State Rep. Ryan Quarles will become agriculture commissioner and Rep. Mike Harmon will become Auditor in January. Their seats will be filled after a special election sometime next year.

Butler is a former police officer who was first elected to the House in 2012.