Kentucky is officially a deeply Republican state after the party secured a majority of seats in the state House of Representatives during elections on Tuesday. The GOP will now have control of the state House, state Senate and Governorship.
House Republican Leader Jeff Hoover said the election was a victory for conservatives in the state.
“Today, Kentuckians made their conservative values heard loud and clear,” Hoover said at an election party in Louisville. “While rejecting the out-of-touch policies of liberal Democrats.”
The GOP will be in control of the House for the first time since 1921. The party will have the upper hand of the entire legislative process in Kentucky and be able to easily pass bills if they stay united.
Hoover might be the next House Speaker, but would have to be voted to that post by House members.
Gov. Matt Bevin celebrated the Republican victories with party leaders at the Galt House in Louisville.
“The voters of Kentucky have been heard and they want a new direction for the Commonwealth of Kentucky,” Bevin said to the crowd.
Democrats lost big in rural Eastern Kentucky and Western Kentucky, where voters have trended Republican over the course of President Barack Obama’s administration.
The biggest surprise of the night might be that Democratic House Speaker Greg Stumbo lost his race for re-election after a 35 year stint in Frankfort.
Stumbo was ousted by Larry Brown, who has challenged the seat before.
“The voters have spoken, so I want to congratulate Larry Brown for his win tonight, and I want to thank the people of the 95th House District for a great career,” Stumbo said in an emailed statement. “I hope only the best for the district, my county, my commonwealth, and my country.”