Republican to Seek Democrat Keene's Seat in Kentucky House
If the past two days are in any indication, the Republican Party is ready to take full control of Northern Kentucky's seats in the Kentucky General Assembly.
Only two seats are held by Democrats - State Rep. Arnold Simpson of Covington and State Rep. Dennis Keene of Wilder. Simpson is retiring after more than twenty years representing Covington and northern Kenton County in the House, and while Democrat and former Covington fire chief Buddy Wheatley is exploring a run, so is Republican Covington city commissioner Jordan Huizenga.
Meanwhile, in Campbell County, Republican Bob Schrage announced Thursday that he would take on Keene, who has held the long Democratic seat since being elected in 2004.
House District 67 encompasses Newport, Bellevue, Dayton, Wilder, part of Highland Heights, and tiny Woodlawn.
Schrage lives in Dayton and is the former director of administration of Transitions, Inc., and former assistant director of the Northern Kentucky Area Development District. He said he would focus his campaign on economic growth and community service.
“I’ve spent my life working to improve my community and Northern Kentucky,” Schrage said in a news release. “That’s why I’m running for the Kentucky General Assembly’s 67th House District. The people of Northern Kentucky deserve someone with tested experience, and I believe that my past as an active leader in the community is just what this district needs to grow and thrive.”
Schrgae currently teaches students in the master of public administration program at Northern Kentucky University. He has authored several books about history. He currently serves on the Redwood Strategic Planning Committee.
Schrage also runs the Andrew J. Schrage Memorial Scholarship Fund to honor his late son who died in an electrical accident in 2011 while a student at the University of Kentucky. The fund has raised tens of thousands of dollars to benefit Northern Kentucky engineering students, a news release said.
“My life hasn’t been one marked by politics and partisan games, but instead has focused on finding better ways to improve the lives of those who need help,” Schrage said in his campaign announcement. “Over the coming months, I will lay out a vision for Kentucky that focuses on an efficient and effective government, a return to fiscal responsibility, and support for job creating policies for all Kentuckians. I look forward to hitting the campaign trail and hearing from the voters.”
Schrage has been married to his wife, Ann, for 33 years.
Keene declined to comment about the possible November showdown with Schrage. The General Assembly returned to session this week. Keene is in Democratic Party leadership in the House of Representatives where he serves as minority caucus chair.
-Michael Monks, editor & publisher