David Williams


Republican Kentucky State Rep. Sara Beth Gregory will replace former State Sen. David Williams after winning a special election for his southern Kentucky seat. Gregory defeated Democrat Bill Conn by more than a 4 - 1 margin. Gregory was elected last year to represent the 52nd House District and won a second term last month.


After years of defeat, Kentucky lawmakers believe an expanded gambling bill could become law next year. At the Kentucky Chamber’s annual policy day, House Speaker Greg Stumbo and new Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer discussed the prospects of such a bill in the upcoming session. Both leaders suggested the opposing chamber take up the bill first when they get to Frankfort next month. 

Thayer was the sponsor of a Senate gambling bill in this year's session. The measure ultimately failed. But Thayer says the Senate can pass a new bill if the governor pushes hard enough.


The State Senate Republican Caucus has officially nominated Senator Robert Stivers for Senate president. Stivers’ new role won’t be official until it’s voted on by the full chamber in early January. But the GOP holds a 24-14 advantage, meaning Stivers is all but certain to succeed former Senate President David Williams. Williams left the Senate to take a position as a circuit judge.

Independent Senator Bob Leeper also ran for the presidency in the GOP caucus. And even though he challenged Stivers, the soon-to-be president says he won’t strip Leeper of his budget committee chairmanship.

Kentucky’s Republican state senators will choose that chamber’s next president today in Frankfort. GOP Floor Leader Robert Stivers and independent Senator Bob Leeper are candidates for the position. The chamber’s former president David Williams resigned to accept a judicial appointment in southern Kentucky.

Kentucky State Rep. Sara Beth Gregory announced today that she is seeking the Republican nomination for the vacant seat left by former state Sen. David Williams. He resigned from his southern Kentucky seat last week to accept an appointment as circuit judge. Gregory is a Monticello lawyer and is serving her first term a state representative. She was reelected Tuesday without opposition. Gov. Steve Beshear has not scheduled a special election to replace Williams yet.


Kentucky Senate Republicans have appointed President Pro Temp Katie Stine as the new legislative co-chair for their chamber as David Williams prepares to depart as Senate president.  Williams will resign Friday to take a circuit court judgeship, which leads to a vacancy in the Legislative Research Commission. No decision was made on a permanent leader for state Senate.


Since the campaign for control of the Kentucky House started, Democrats and supportive outside groups have used outgoing Senate President David Williams as an attack on GOP candidates. For weeks, the outside group Kentucky Family Values has sent out political mail attempting to link GOP incumbents and challengers as "votes for Williams" in Frankfort. 


Kentucky Senate Majority Leader Robert Stivers is getting plenty of vocal support to succeed David Williams as Senate president. This comes days after Williams said he was resigning to take a circuit judge position. 

LRC Public Information

The first ever Republican state Senate president will end his 12-year reign by taking a circuit court judgeship back home. David Williams will resign his leadership position and Senate seat next week to start a judgeship that he was appointed to by his chief rival, Gov. Steve Beshear.

Update: David Williams said he'll run for election to the 40th Circuit Court judgeship in 2014.

Update: David Williams' appointment to the 40th Circuit judgeship will be effective Nov. 2.

Gov. Steve Beshear has appointed his rival David Williams, the state Senate president, to the 40th Circuit Judgeship. Williams, of Burkesville, was nominated on Thursday by the Judicial Nominating Commission, alongside Angela M. Capps and Stephen Douglas Hurt.