On Tuesday, HuffPost reported that Democrat Linda Belcher won her special election for a Kentucky state House seat that had previously been held by a Republican. Belcher’s victory marks the 37th time the Democratic party has flipped a legislative seat since Donald Trump was unfortunately elected President.
Jessica Post, executive director of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, said in a statement about Belcher, a former public school teacher and state lawmaker, that her “lifelong commitment to bettering her community and her door-to-door campaign showcased her dedication to standing up for Ketuckians. She will work hard on behalf of working families, students, and the people of Bullitt County.” Plus, as a Bob’s Burgers fan, I am automatically endeared to this great, seat-flippin’ lady.
But Belcher’s win is particularly dramatic for a couple reasons. First, Belcher won 68 percent of the vote to Republican Rebecca Johnson’s 32 percent, and in that same district—Kentucky’s 49th District, also known as Bullitt County—Trump defeated Hillary Clinton by a whopping 49 points in 2016. In 2012 the district went to Mitt Romney 66-33. So, extremely well done, Belcher!
Another startling aspect of this race was how it came to be in the first place. Belcher’s opponent in this race, Rebecca Johnson, is the widow of Dan Johnson, who previously held the seat, and who died by suicide in December a few days after accusations surfaced that he’d molested a 17-year-old girl, a member of his church, in 2013 (an allegation Johnson denied).
Belcher had previously held the seat, but lost it to Johnson in an extremely narrow 2016 race.