Republicans Nominate Wedding, but Primary Fight Looms for GOP in 67th District
The Campbell County Republican Party selected Mary Jo Wedding as its candidate in February's special election for state representative in district 67, but there will be a primary for the regular election in May.
“Mary Jo Wedding is a strong conservative woman leader, and we’re proud to have her as our Republican nominee,” Republican Party of Kentucky Executive Director Sarah Van Wallaghen said in an announcement. “Her story of raising a family, starting and running a business, and being active as a grassroots conservative leader will connect with voters as we work to flip House District 67 to Republican control.”
Dennis Keene, a Democrat from Wilder, held the seat since 2005 before announcing in December that he accepted the position of Commissioner of the Department of Local Government in the administration of Governor Andy Beshear.
House District 67 encompasses northern Campbell County and the cities of Newport, Bellevue, Dayton, Southgate, Silver Grove, Wilder, and Highland Heights.
Wedding is a native of Newport and graduated from Newport High School in 1980. She currently lives in Bellevue. She founded a company that provides local businesses and municipal governments with payroll services.
“I am honored to be selected to represent the Republican party in the special election taking place on February 25th," Wedding said in an announcement. "Over the next seven weeks, it is my campaign’s goal to reach thousands of voters across the district about my plans to advocate for policies that bring accountability, transparency, and responsibility to the state government.”
Newport business owner Rachel Roberts was nominated by the Campbell County Democratic Party to face Wedding.
The winner of the February 25 special election will serve the remainder of Keene's current term and would be seated immediately in the General Assembly, whose 60-day legislative session begins Tuesday.
Both parties will conduct primary elections on May 19 for a general election battle in November with the winner receiving a full two-year term.
On the Republican side, there will be a primary on May 19.
Southgate City Councilwoman LeAnna Homandberg announced Monday that she would seek the Republican nomination in May. She also told The River City News that she had sought the Party's nomination for the special election, but the nod went to Wedding.
Homandberg is an attorney with Covington-based Russell and Ireland Law Group where she focuses on the areas of personal injury, family law, and criminal defense.
She graduate from Northern Kentucky University Chase College of Law in 2016. She is chair-elect of the Northern Kentucky Bar Association Young Laywers Section. Homandberg was also appointed by Governor Matt Bevin to the state's Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation Prevention Board in 2017 and again in 2019.
She also coaches varsity volleyball at Holmes High School in Covington.
-Michael Monks, editor & publisher
Top photo: Mary Jo Wedding (provided)