Napier wants to fill remainder of Fletcher's term

November 05, 2003|PHIL PENDLETON

LANCASTER - Now that Sixth District Congressman Ernie Fletcher is governor-elect Fletcher, he will have to resign his seat in Washington. Kentucky Rep. Lonnie Napier, R-Lancaster, wants to fill it.

"I'm going to try to get the special nomination, yes," said Napier.

That 'special nomination' would come from a meeting of the Republican party made up of people from all 16 counties in the sixth district. Democrats will have a similar meeting sometime after Fletcher resigns from Congress. Both parties will then submit their respective candidate to face off in the election scheduled by the governor. That election would take place within 35 days, according to information from the Kentucky Secretary of State.

An independent candidate could also file for the special election provided that he or she gets 400 people to sign a petition.

Napier expects the special election to be held around Jan. 15 or 20. Since the deadline for filing for political office is Jan. 28, whoever is elected to the U.S. Representative seat would likely file for the 2004 election as well.


"It's possible you'd have to run three races," said Napier, speaking of the special election, the May primary, then the regular election next November. "Wouldn't that be something?"

Napier is confident he will be nominated for the election.

"I'm the only guy that's in this race ... that's carried a lot of these (sixth district) counties before," he said. "I have won consistently ... in the state of Kentucky."

If elected to fill Fletcher's term, Napier said he will push for pro-family and pro-life issues and for legislation that helps working people.

"I'm a working man's friend," he said. "I will be fair to the district. I would be fair to everybody. I think my record in the (state) House of 20 years has proven to the people that I can bring home the bacon, so to speak."

Winning the majority of votes in Boyle, Estill, Garrard, Jessamine, Lincoln, and Madison counties will not be difficult for him, Napier senses. The most challenging will be Bourbon and Scott counties, where he isn't as well known, he said.

"I would feel comfortable in Fayette County, because having a Republican governor elected, I would hold my own in Fayette County," he said. He is also confident he would have a good showing in Franklin and Clark Counties.

Competition for the Republican nomination could come from Rep. Stan Lee, R-Lexington or Sen. Alice Forgy Kerr, R-Lexington, Napier said.

"But you can hear anything," he said.

Kerr told a television reporter Tuesday night that she would run.

Among those running on the Democratic side could be Fayette County Attorney Margaret Kannensohn, he said.

Napier said regardless of whether he receives the special nomination, he plans to file for his state representative seat again.

"If I am not successful in getting that nomination and being elected, then I will not lose my (state house) seat," he said.

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