LOUISVILLE,Ky — A lone Kentucky Democrat will continue to represent the state in Washington DC.  State Senator Morgan McGarvey was elected in November to the seat left open by retiring Congressman John Yarmuth. 

What You Need To Know

  • Gov. Andy Beshear has called a special election for State Senate District 19

  • State Senator Morgan McGarvey is resigning from the position to become a U.S. Representative 

  • This special election will be held Feb. 21, 2023

  • Democrats and Republicans will pick their candidates in the coming weeks

Earlier this month Gov. Andy Beshear issued an executive order, calling a special election to fill McGarvey’s vacant State Senate seat. That election will be held on Feb. 21. 

Honi Goldman is a voting advocate in Louisville (Spectrum News 1/Mason Brighton)

“You need to know the people, you need to know what the concerns are, and you need to fight for them and you need to explain why you’re fighting for them,” Honi Goldman, a voting advocate and fourth-generation Louisvillian said. 

Goldman explains whoever takes McGarvey’s spot has to have the city’s best interest when they head to Frankfort. 

“Morgan had standing, and that person is going to have to get standing very quickly,” Goldman said. 

Wednesday was the last day for registered Democrats in Louisville to throw their hat into the ring. A post on Facebook from the Louisville Democratic Party says all applications are due by 6 p.m.

Both parties will pick their candidate in the coming weeks for the special election, which historically has low voter turnout. 

“So make sure you’re registered and for a special election absolutely make sure you’re registered, and make sure your information is correct,” Goldman said. 

Something else to keep in mind — you only have until the end of the year to change political parties. It’s a decision that will affect what primary you can vote in. 

“Kentucky is one of 12 states that have what’s called closed primaries, which means if you are registered as a Republican, you cannot vote in the Democratic primary and vice versa,” Goldman said. 

Still, Goldman emphasizes the importance of voting, especially in smaller elections, where candidates can win by only a handful of votes. 

The special election will be held in 55 days. This comes a few months ahead of a packed May primary, where races for both Kentucky Governor and Attorney General are highly contested.