2018 election by the numbers

Posted by: KFTC Staff on November 14, 2018

Oktoberfest 3KFTC members leaned into this election cycle more heavily than any other, conducting large-scale voter registration, education and mobilization in our communities to lift up important issues, to listen to our neighbors, and help them get involved. KFTC’s New Power PAC formed Democracy Teams that recommended candidate endorsements and led local work to support candidates who most advanced KFTC’s Vision.

Here are some of our numbers:

  • Total doors knocked + calls made by KFTC – 41,462
  • Candidates responding to our General Election issue stance survey – 223
  • KentuckyElection.org Visits 2018 – 60,778
  • Candidates profiled on KentuckyElection.org – more than 7,000
  • Total General Election ad views online – 899,078
  • General Election candidate-specific mail pieces sent – 58,180
  • General Election Voter Guides printed - 13,000

Some of the other numbers from the election:

  • Total Ballots cast - 1,612,353
    General Election Voter Turnout - 47.38%
    Voter Turnout among KFTC members - 91%
  • Political Party composition of the new Kentucky House - 61 Republicans - 39 Democrats (a shift of 2 seats to the Democrats)
  • Political Party composition of the new Kentucky Senate - 28 Republican - 10 Democrats (a shift of 1 seat to the Republicans)

New Power PAC Candidates who won their elections - 26

We’ve always made sure that the focus of our voter work is long-term, working with less-likely voters and those who are most left out of our democracy, including low-income Kentuckians, youth and people of color. It’s hard work that can’t be won or lost in any single election.

We didn’t win as many of these races as we might hope – with narrow losses for some important races like Amy McGrath’s Congressional race in Central Kentucky or Jeanie Smith’s race that pitted a long-time KFTC member against a member of Republican Senate leadership in a tough district.

But we did win a lot of races and a lot of strong candidates that share KFTC’s vision and values are in office that wouldn’t have been there without our help. The demographics of the legislature are shifting too, with more women, more people of color, and more teachers running and winning than ever before.

Some of the closest vote counts on election night were in favor of people we endorsed such as Cherlynn Stevenson winning by just by 48 votes and Jim Glenn winning by just a single vote (re-counts pending).

Perhaps most importantly, 2018 was a year where a lot of truly great candidates ran for office, many of which ran for the first time. Many were KFTC members or were supported by volunteer campaign staff who were KFTC members. Even those who didn’t win learned a great deal and built up name recognition and skills to run again and/or help other great candidates run and win.

The election for governor and 5 other statewide constitutional offices is in 2019, and an even larger election is in 2020 for state house and senate, Congress, a U.S. senate seat, president and many local offices.

Among other work in 2019, KFTC plans to focus on some powerful candidate and campaign training. Have you ever thought about running for public office or do you know someone you think should run? Give it some thought, because that’s where it starts.

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We can't stop now. Help build grassroots power for 2019.

Posted by: By Alexa Hatcher on November 12, 2018

Today we kick off KFTC’s fall fundraising campaign. We're inviting everyone to support Action for Democracy.

From June through election day, I talked with voters every week as a KFTC voter empowerment organizer.

I took action for democracy because I wanted everyone to get out and vote for candidates who reflect our values and understand issues that affect us. I helped folks to not just vote, but know who and what they were voting for.

Not everything went our way in this election, but 26 candidates endorsed by KFTC’s New Power PAC won their races. We challenged old guard candidates and made them talk about our issues and our values. We supported more women and people of color candidates. And KFTC members, voters and candidates gained skills to grow our grassroots power.

KFTC members continue to build New Power through the Power House Energy Efficiency workshops

Posted by: KFTC Staff on November 9, 2018

Since April of this year, KFTC members across eastern Kentucky have helped host energy efficiency workshops in their communities, as part of our ongoing Power House Project. The Power House Project builds collective power by educating communities about Eastern Kentucky’s energy landscape, how we can influence it, and ways that we can lower our bills immediately through do-it-yourself weatherization strategies.

Today we say thank you. Tomorrow, we organize.

Posted by: KFTC staff on November 7, 2018

Polls open at 6 a.m. tomorrow. Three Actions

Posted by: KFTC Staff on November 5, 2018

LGBTQ History Month 1Tomorrow is Election Day – Tuesday, November 6.

This is a critical election, unlike any other. Control of the Kentucky House, the US House and local governments hang in the balance, and tomorrow’s results will determine how effectively we can fight for our vision in 2019 and 2020.

In this long election cycle we’ve registered thousands of people to vote and talked with tens of thousands at events, trainings, phone banks and more. But there’s still a few things you can do in the next day and a half that can make the difference.

  1. Learn about the candidates and vote. Polls are open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can see what’s on your ballot, where candidates stand on issues, find your voting location and more at www.KentuckyElection.org. Make a plan now to vote tomorrow.
  2. Spread the word to friends and family. Call everyone in your cell phone tonight to remind them to vote; use social media to talk about candidates you care about; share www.KentuckyElection.org with everyone you run into between now and 6 p.m. tomorrow. It might feel like everyone you know is already voting and knows who they’re voting for – but some of them aren’t ready yet. You can actually make the difference for a lot of your friends. If you and all 12,000 KFTC members do this, we win big on election day.
  3. Volunteer. There’s still time to volunteer with your local KFTC chapter and call voters to mobilize them, pass out our voter guides, go door-to-door, and join in creative election day events like bike parades! Contact your local KFTC organizer or reach out to our Democracy Organizer Dave Newton at 859-420-8919 or Dave@kftc.org to volunteer outside of chapter areas.

There's a Constitutional Amendment on Tuesday's Ballot

Posted by: KFTC Staff on November 1, 2018

All Kentucky voters will be asked to vote on a proposed constitutional amendment called Marsy's Law on Tuesday's ballot. We encourage all of our members to do some research before voting and we've provded a basic start below.

This measure might put into place expanded constitutional rights for crime victims during the judicial process.

Votes on this issue will be counted; however, a judge has ruled that the ballot measure is so vaguely worded that the vote can't be certified. “The electorate cannot be expected to vote on a Constitutional amendment of which they are not adequately informed of the substance,” Franklin Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate's order said.

However, there remains a possibility that the judicial ruling could be overturned some time after the election, leading to a confusing situation where there might be signs up at polling locations rightly telling voters that their vote on this issue won’t count, but then later after the election it might count after all.


A “yes” vote might add Marsy’s Law to the Kentucky constitution.


A “no” vote does not add Marsy’s Law to the Kentucky Constitution. Instead, victims of crime would continue to rely on the “Kentucky Crime Victim Bill of Rights” as well as the VINE (Victim Information and Notification Everyday) nationwide system for updates on changes related to their case.


Shelby County KFTC hosts state legislative candidate forum

Posted by: Carissa Lenfert on October 23, 2018

Over 100 people came out last night for a candidate forum sponsored by the Shelby County KFTC chapter, the Shelbyville branch of the NAACP, Shelby County Retired Teacher's Association, and Shelby C

Madison County members host chili cook-off for Halloween

Posted by: Matthew Frederick on October 22, 2018

As Halloween approaches alongside the 2018 mid-term elections, KFTC members gathered for the Madison County chapter’s second annual Halloween Spectacular on October 21. The event brought together members and community participants from across Kentucky. Featuring a chili cook-off, costume contest and silent auction, the Halloween party served as a way to build new power, raise funds and promote KFTC’s Action For Democracy initiative.

Fixing What's Broke: why Congress must support a Just Transition for miners with black lung and communities

Posted by: Lisa Abbott on October 21, 2018

A new report from KFTC describes ways Kentuckians are organizing to demand action from Congress – and especially from Senator Mitch McConnell – in support of a Just Transition for miners with black lung disease, retired and laid off miners, and their communities.

To build a new economy in coal communities, the report says Congress should start by "fixing what's broke," including strengthening funding for the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund, passing the RECLAIM Act, and protecting miners' pensions.

Local black lung resolution is picking up steam in eastern Kentucky

Posted by: Lisa Abbott on October 16, 2018

Knott, Letcher, Rowan and Pike counties became the 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th local governments in eastern Kentucky to pass a local resolution calling on members of Congress to pass several bills needed to help sick, disabled, retired and unemployed coal miners and their communities. The fiscal courts in Letcher and Knott counties took the unanimous action at their respective monthly meetings on October 15, and Pike and Rowan counties acted the next day.

Advocates say other local governments will soon follow their example. The resolution was first adopted by the City of Benham in Harlan County in September. That action was followed quickly by local governments in the cities of Jackson, Morehead and Whitesburg, and in Breathitt, Knott, Letcher and Pike counties. The resolution is expected to be considered at upcoming meetings in Floyd, Whitley, and Harlan counties, among other places. (Update: the Floyd County Fiscal Court became the 10th Kentucky community to pass the resolution on October 18.)


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