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    Kentucky's primary: Top local races to watch on Tuesday

    By Jolene Almendarez, Cincinnati Enquirer,


    Tuesday is primary election day in Kentucky and GOP voters in Boone, Kenton, and Campbell counties have plenty of contested races to vote on.

    Here are some of the biggest races to watch on primary election day:

    Will a man accused of strangling a teen win in Campbell County?

    Republicans Terry Hatton and Brian Ormes are both running for an empty state House seat in District 67, which includes the northwest part of Campbell County.

    Ormes made headlines in April after he was charged with felony first-degree strangulation and misdemeanors for menacing and fourth-degree assault.

    He allegedly confronted a 17-year-old after a ball nearly hit his son. His case was referred to a Kenton County grand jury.

    Ormes still has political signs supporting him throughout part of Campbell County. Hatton has condemned his actions, calling for Ormes to withdraw from the race.

    Can the liberty candidates get reelected?

    A new crop of Northern Kentucky candidates took on incumbent establishment Republicans during the 2022 GOP primary and ousted three of them. The so-called liberty candidates are more conservative and often oppose COVID vaccines, support book bans, and are determined to oust what they call "RINOs," Republicans in name only.

    The 2024 primary is a test of their staying power – whether they'll keep thriving or fade away like the tea party. So, if any of these incumbents lose, it will be big news.

    State Rep. Steve Doan, R-Erlanger, ousted Republican Adam Koenig in the 2022 primary with 54% of the vote. Koenig represented District 69, which includes parts of Kenton and Boone counties, for over 25 years.

    This year, Republican Diane Brown, of Erlanger, is challenging Doan in the primary.

    She's a former attorney and was on the Kenton County Planning Commission, according to her website. She said online she plans to use "conservative and Christian values" as a lens to make decisions.

    State Rep. Marianne Proctor also ousted an establishment Republican in 2022. Sal Santoro, who served in the House for over 15 years, narrowly lost to Proctor, who garnered 51.7% of the vote.

    Proctor is challenged by RepublicanChris Pavese for the District 60 seat, a horizontal slice through the middle of Boone County.

    This House race

    Incumbent State Rep. Kim Moser is up against Republican Karen Campbell, who is part of the conservative Kentucky Liberty Caucus. They're running in District 64, which includes part of the northern half of Kenton County.

    Moser, of Taylor Mill, took office in 2017 and hasn't faced an especially competitive primary since then. She's a former nurse and chair of the Health Services Committee.

    Karen Campbell, of Independence, is a Realtor and describes herself online as "very conservative."

    The ugliest race in NKY

    GOP candidates Ed Massey and T.J. Roberts are running for the empty House seat in District 66, which covers the northern part of Boone County. The seat has been Republican for at least the past 40 years.

    The two have traded barbs throughout election season, insulting each other about offensive online posts, affiliation with Democrats, and just about everything else.

    The empty Senate seats

    Longtime Senator John Schickel announced last fall he would not run for reelection in District 11, which covers the northern half of Boone County.

    Republicans Duane Froelicher – a former Florence city councilman – and first-term State Rep. Steve Rawlings are both vying for the position.

    No Democrat is running in the race, so whoever wins the primary essentially wins the election.

    District 11:Trump, immigration: Where these Boone Co. state senate candidates stand

    Heavy political hitter Damon Thayer also announced he wouldn't run for re-election in District 17, which includes the southern part of Kenton County, Grant and Scott counties, and the northwest corner of Fayette County.

    First-time political candidates Matt Nunn, of Sadieville, and Julia Jaddock, of Georgetown, are running for the seat. Whoever wins will face Democrat Kiana Fields in the general election.

    District 17:Immigration, Jan. 6: What these state Senate candidates have to say

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