Linda Belcher served in the legislature from 2008 to 2012 and 2014 to 2016 before losing to Dan Johnson. "But the allegations were backed up by an on-the-record interview from the victim, plus pages of police documents that were published by [KyCIR] after months of reporting".
Democrat Linda Belcher was just pronounced the victor of the special election in Kentucky's House District 49, a seat that Donald Trump carried by a 72-23 margin in 2016 and that went 66-33 for Mitt Romney in 2012.
Carol Schneider, 65, called Rebecca Johnson "a die hard, stand by your man kind of woman".
James Carmony, 47, said he wasn't sure he believed the sexual assault allegations and said he ultimately voted for Johnson because she is a Republican and he believed she would support the state's GOP governor.
If Kentucky is any sign of things to come, House and Senate Republicans have a lot to worry about in the upcoming mid-term elections. The victory has Democrats pretty excited as it represents the 37th state legislative flip nationwide since Trump won. And it may have come in the reddest district to date.
Belcher, a former educator who had previously held the seat and lost to Johnson in 2016 by 156 votes, ran against Johnson's widow, Rebecca Johnson.
However, Kentucky Republicans argued that the special election was an aberration, as only 15 percent of registered voters cast ballots on Tuesday. "I think this shows the entire House, the Kentucky House, is in play".
Republican Party of Kentucky spokesman Tres Watson countered in a statement that turnout was very low on Tuesday, in an unusual race that "offers little resemblance to what we should expect in November".
Voters in Bullitt County, a Kentucky district south of Louisville that went heavily for Trump in 2016, just elected a Democrat to fill a House seat left vacant by a legislator who committed suicide amid allegations of sexual assault. 'It's like we are in a third world country'.
Earlier in the day, county election officials discovered residents in a particular subdivision were incorrectly listed as not living in the district. Mooney said if all of the affected voters had voted for Johnson, it would not have changed the outcome. If she wins, she would face Belcher again in the general election.
Belcher, former school teacher and principal, also entered politics after her husband died in a 2008 auto accident.