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Democrats Flip Hot-Red Kentucky House Seat

Kentucky Democrat Linda Belcher.Screengrab/Rula Brown/YouTube

Democrat Linda Belcher won with a stunning 86-point swing from the presidential election.

Democrats pulled off a massive upset Tuesday night in a Kentucky district that President Donald Trump won by a 50-point margin in 2016.

Democrat Linda Belcher defeated Republican Rebecca Johnson 68 percent to 32 percent in yesterday's special election to replace Johnson's late husband.

House District 49 voted overwhelmingly for Trump, by a margin of 72 percent to 23 percent. However, Belcher has previously represented the district and narrowly lost a re-election bid in 2016 by less than 200 votes (PDF).

The seat, located in Bullitt County, just south of Louisville, was vacated in December after former Rep. Dan Johnson, committed suicide just two days after being accused of molesting a 17-year-old girl. His widow, Rebecca, who has denied the allegations about her former husband, decided within a day to run for the seat.

Yesterday's victory continues the Democratic attempt to take back control of the House in 2018:

Belcher’s win marks the 37th legislative seat changing hands from Republican to Democrat since Trump’s inauguration. It is also the fourth to flip just this year, following wins by Margaret Good in Florida’s 72nd District last week as well as wins in deep-red Missouri and Wisconsin.