A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Special election to replace lawmaker who killed himself goes to Democrat Linda Belcher


Staff report

A special election in the 49th District to replace Dan Johnson, a Republican lawmaker who killed himself last year, was won by retired teacher and Democrat Linda Belcher, who lost to Johnson by less than 200 votes in 2016.

Linda Belcher

Johnson’s widow Rebecca Johnson was also a candidate. She refused to concede, though Belcher won with 72 percent of the vote.

Johnson killed himself last year after facing sexual assault allegations. His wife also denied the allegations, claiming they were “an assault from the left.” She claimed “widespread voter fraud.”

The rural Kentucky House district is just south of Louisville.

Trump won the 49th House district with more than 72 percent of the vote. This is the 35th contested seats Democrats have taken from Republicans since Trump was inaugurated, the AP reported.


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