A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie to face Newport Democrat Matt Lehman, Indpt. Osborne in fall’s general election

By Jack Brammer
NKyTribune reporter
U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie easily outdistanced his three opponents Tuesday in the Republican primary election for Kentucky’s 4th Congressional District that includes Northern Kentucky and awaits a challenge in the Nov. 8 general election.

Thomas Massie

Massie, a former judge-executive of Lewis County who has represented the district since 2012, faces Democrat Matthew Lehman, a biotech executive of Newport, this fall. Lehman had no opposition in Tuesday’s Democratic primary. Ethan Keith Osborne of Covington is in the fall election as an independent.

Massie posted on social media early Tuesday evening that he had won his primary and was ready for Republicans to regain control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

“Tonight’s victory sends a strong message that Republican voters in the 4th District of Kentucky want someone to represent them in Washington who will consistently stand on principle, defend life and support the Constitution,” Massie said.

“I am thankful to the 4th District Republicans for their continued trust and support, and look forward to taking back Congress from Nancy Pelosi this November.”

Lehman, on a social media post, predicted that Tuesday “marks the beginning of the end for Thomas Massie (R-Vanceburg) in Congress.

“No more of his extremist agenda, no more embarrassing our Constitution on Twitter, no more bootlicking of anti-American dictators.”

Lehman said the district has specific needs from its representative in Congress.

Matt Lehman

He mentioned eastern counties wanting to join the Appalachian Regional Commission, hemp farmers needing federal assistance to grow the industry, small livestock farms needing regulatory relief to compete with large producers, rural areas needing access to high-speed internet, urban areas needing major investments in infrastructure, older neighborhoods needing lead out of water and improvements to sewers, Northern Kentucky needs a new bridge to Cincinnati, and all wanting safe communities and better educational opportunities for children.

“After 10 years in office, Rep. Massie has proven unable to work with mainstream Republicans or Democrats on any substantive issue for his constituents.” said Lehman. “I offer Kentucky’s 4th District a clear alternative this Nov. 8.”

Massie released a poll earlier this month that showed him with a large lead in the primary election against his primary challengers with 66 percent of the vote.

Soon after the poll was released, former President Trump, who often was critical of Massie, endorsed Massie’s re-election.

Oldham County real estate investment official Claire Wirth had worked to get Trump’s support but was not successful.

The other two Republicans on the ballot were Covington homemaker Alyssa Dara McDowell and filmmaker George F. Washington of Grant County.

With about two-thirds of the precincts in the district reporting about 8:30 Tuesday night, Massie had 33,616 votes, Wirth 7,012, McDowell 2,327 and Washington 1,786.

The 4th Congressional District has been Republican for many years and is conservative. Republicans today outnumber Democrats in the district 306,623 to 237,352. The last time a Democrat represented the district was Ken Lucas from 1998 to 2004. It has been in GOP hands for all but six years since 1967.

Other Congressional Districts

In Kentucky’s other Congressional Districts, Republican incumbents either won easily or had no primary opposition: James R. Comer of Tompkinsville in the 1st District, Brett Guthrie of Bowling Green in the 2nd District, Hal Rogers of Somerset in the 5th and Andy Barr of Lexington in the 6th.
State Sen. Morgan McGarvey of Louisville held a substantial lead Tuesday night over former state Rep. Attica Scott in the Democratic primary for the 3rd District seat in Jefferson County. The Republican primary in the 3rd was tight, with the winner facing McGarvey in November.

Democratic incumbent John Yarmuth did not seek re-election this year.

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