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Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Special Election: Democrat Rachel Roberts Nominated; GOP Continues Selection Process

Newport business owner and entrepreneur Rachel Roberts is the Democratic nominee for the February 25 special election for House District 67.

 By Robin Gee, City Council Beat Editor

News hit early Tuesday morning that Newport business owner and entrepreneur Rachel Roberts has been selected to be the Democratic nominee in the upcoming special election for Kentucky House District 67.

The position became open after newly elected Governor Andy Beshear tapped Representative Dennis Keene to serve in his cabinet as commissioner of the Department for Local Government. A special election to fill Keene’s seat will be held on February 25,2020.

How the Democrats do it

Selection of a nominee in a special election is a fairly cut-and-dry process for the state’s Democratic party.

Campbell County Democrat Party (CCDP) Chair Linda Nesbitt explained the selection process outlined by the state party’s bylaws. The rules covering special elections are very specific, she said.

The chair must hold a nominating convention. A nominating committee is formed of those members of the executive committee who are from the district, in this case District 67.

Eight members formed the nomination committee that met last night and after deliberation voted to select Rachel Roberts as their nominee.

Unlike the regular election process, those interested in running for the vacated office can and do express interest in the position to local party officials, but do not do a formal filing. Now that Roberts has been selected, she will present official documents in Frankfort.

Roberts is the owner of Yoga Bar Studios in Newport and an expert presenter on mindfulness and related topics throughout the region. She is co-owner of RAKE Strategies, a brand strategy firm. She also serves on the board of directors for the Girl Scouts of Kentucky’s Wilderness Road, the Newport Business Association and Mental Health America, Kentucky.

How the Republicans do it

Taking advantage of social media, the Campbell County Republican Party (CCRP) plans to announce their nominee on a Facebook LIVE event on January 5 to be held about 8 p.m. on the party’s Facebook page ("Campbell County Republican Party").

The process of selecting a nominee for a special election for the Republican Party does involve an application process. The CCRP executive committee selects the nominee after meeting to review applications and interview those interested. The committee consists of 10 people who were elected by local Republican voters in March.

District 67 residents interested in running can apply to the CCRP executive committee, but party officials urged those interested to do so soon because the executive committee will meet on January 5 at 6 p.m. to select the nominee.

"This may very well feel like a 'job interview' and I think that’s a good thing!" said CCRP Chair Sarah Cameron in a recent press release calling for applications.

Republicans living in the 67th District who are interested should contact CCRP officials by email for more information on the application process.

House District 67 includes Newport, Bellevue, Dayton, Wilder, Highland Heights, Silver Grove, Melbourne, Woodlawn and portions of Southgate. Again, the election is set for February 25, 2020.

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