Kentucky 3rd District state Rep. Gerald Watkins will run for a third term in Frankfort next year, as his Democrats seek to maintain their tenuous hold on the state House of Representatives.
Watkins is the vice chair of the Education and Tourism Development & Energy House committees. Just a little more than a year ago, Watkins faced a tough challenge from Republican Randy Bridges, who out-raised him by more than $20,000, according to Kentucky Registry of Election Finance records.
Watkins says he expects another hotly contested race in 2016, as Democrats head into January’s General Assembly with a 52-47 majority.
“I feel comfortable with my level of experience and compatibility with my district on voting and values that I think we’ll be okay," Watkins said.
Meanwhile, Watkins is focused on getting his bill that would end Kentucky’s nuclear power moratorium passed through the legislature. The bill had the support of former energy secretary Len Peters. Watkins said he has not yet met with the new secretary, Charles Snavely, appointed by Gov. Matt Bevin earlier this month.
"I would hope that the new energy secretary would also be on board," Watkins said. "I would surely think so. It's passed four times in the state Senate, so I wouldn't think there would be opposition."
In October, Watkins ruled out a bid for the Democratic nomination to replace retiring 1st District U.S. Congressman Ed Whitfield.