LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Dr. Karen Berg first ran for State Senate seat in District 26 in 2018 under significantly different circumstances.


What You Need To Know

  • Dr. Karen Berg defeated Rep.Bill Ferko

  • District 26 seat has been held by a Republican since 1994

  • Berg says healthcare is a priority.


“I was able to go door-knocking. I was able to knock on 20,000 doors in the district. And you really get to meet, personally, the people that you’re going to represent. With the pandemic, I wasn’t able to do that,” Berg said. “I don’t want somebody coming up to my door right now that I don’t know, and I wasn’t about to go to somebody else’s door.”

The man she lost to, former Republican State Sen. Ernie Harris, had been in office since 1994. He retired at the end of the session in April, creating another opportunity for Berg.

It was a different campaign, which she says relied a lot more on phone calls, but she defeated Republican Bill Ferko. The win flips a seat in the Kentucky Senate for Democrats for the first time in ten years.

As a radiologist for more than three decades, she says health care is one of her top priorities.

“Kentucky had made tremendous strides under our former Governor Beshear, and then Matt Bevin came in and intentionally, intentionally destroyed an infrastructure that had been set up and was working,” Berg said. “And I’m going to get back there, I’m going to help put this infrastructure back up and we’re going to make it better than it ever was.”

But she stopped short of supporting Medicare For All.  

“It is a cost-effective system. It would be a potential answer. I don’t know that it’s the only answer,” Berg said.

She also said she has seen what the coronavirus can do first-hand, and she applauds Gov. Andy Beshear for his efforts during the pandemic.

“I know people feel that he has overstepped some of his boundaries. Truth is, he has done an amazing job,” Berg said.

Berg will start work in a Senate that is heavily Republican, 28-10 now with her election, but she said she’ll approach her political work the same way she does with her medical work.

“I don’t care if you’re Republican. I don’t care if you’re a Democrat. I don’t care if you’re an independent. I don’t even care if you vote,” Berg said. “You look at the problem, you figure out what needs to be done, you figure out who can get it fixed, and everybody works together to get it fixed.”

Berg said she’ll be sworn in once the election results are certified. She’s not sure what committee assignments she’ll receive during the interim or when the next scheduled legislative session starts in January.

Berg will fill the remaining two years of Harris’s term and she said she plans on running again once the seat is up in 2022.