Bill Aims To Stop Last Minute Party Switches

Jan 24, 2014

Democratic State Sen. Reggie Thomas has filed a bill that would put a stop to last-minute party changes for candidate in special elections.

Senate Bill 79 would mandate that the candidates run with the same party affiliation they had as on the preceding January 1 – bringing special election law in line with the rules for November general elections.

If enacted, the bill would prevent a special election like the one in which the senator competed in 2013.

Last Dec. 10, Thomas defeated Richard Moloney, an independent, and Michael Johnson, who switched parties to run as a Republican when Thomas was selected as the Democratic candidate.

Thomas says the law would merely close a “loophole” in existing election law, but his former opponent, Richard Moloney, told the Lexington Herald-Leader, “I don't know if that benefits Lexington. It benefits himself.”

Johnson has not commented on the bill.