Jessamine County will elect a state representative in 2012 under the same lines it has since 2002 after a Kentucky Supreme Court decision Friday affirmed a previous ruling that new districts were unconstitutional.
Redistricting plans approved by the legislature and signed into law by Gov. Steve Beshear in January moved about 9,300 Jessamine Countians from Democrat Bob Damron’s 39th District into Republican Stan Lee’s 45th District with south Lexington. Friday’s ruling keeps all of the county in the 39th District of the state House.
The Supreme Court upheld the Feb. 7 decision of Franklin Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd against the district lines of House Bill 1. Shepherd’s ruling put the old districts back in place and set a new filing deadline for 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10.
The Jessamine County race will now pit the incumbent, Damron, against Republican challenger Matt Lockett, who filed to run for the 39th District seat hours before the deadline. An e-mail from the secretary of state’s office says candidates who filed by Feb. 10 will be certified Monday, Feb. 27.
Lockett was also involved in the 2010 elections, running for the Republican nomination for Kentucky’s 6th District seat in the United States House of Representatives. He lost in the primary to Andy Barr, who fell to incumbent Democrat Ben Chandler in the general election.
Jessamine County Republican David Thornton had filed to challenge Lee for the 45th District seat but will not be eligible as a resident of the 39th District.
Lines are redrawn every 10 years using census data to equalize population of districts.