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Disputed Kentucky House Seat Goes To Democrat

AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley, File

Owensboro Democrat Jim Glenn will retain the 13th District House seat he originally won by a single vote in the 2018 midterm elections. His opponent, Republican DJ Johnson, withdrew his complaint in the disputed contest Friday morning.

Originally declared the victor by the slimmest of margins in November, Glenn was sworn in and maintained the seat was rightfully his, whether he won by “one vote or 1,000.”

After Johnson filed a complaint, a GOP-dominated legislative panel set a recount in motion. Officials combed through more than 12,000 ballots and added one vote to Glenn’s total, but the Daviess County Board of Elections opted to include five of 17 rejected absentee ballots. That left the race in a tie.

Glenn’s team accused Republicans of interfering with the vote counting process — a charge Johnson’s legal team denied. But Friday, the Republican rescinded his complaint, saying a special election would distract from General Assembly’s work and a coin toss would lead to a legal mess.

"If we do a coin toss and I should win, we are going into a legal circus in my hometown like we've neve seen before," Johnson told the House Elections Contest Board. "I will not put my district through that." 

Glenn will now take the seat, leaving the ratio of Democrats to Republicans in the chamber at 39 to 61.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.