UPDATE: Brenda asks for vote canvas after 30-vote loss

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UPDATE, 11 a.m. WEDNESDAY, JULY 1 … MT. VERNON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Not surprisingly, first-term incument state Rep. Travis Brenda has asked for a canvas of the votes after his 30-vote loss to Mt. Vernon city administrator Josh Bray in the Republican race for Brenda’s 71st District House seat.

If the lead holds up, Bray will take over the seat because no Democrat is running in November.

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The district includes parts of Garrard, Madison and Rockcastle counties and two men ran close in all three. Bray won Garrard 1,395 to 1,370, and Rockcastle, 1,863-1,606 while Brenda took Madison 1,101-849.

Brenda, of Crab Orchard, won the seat in 2018 by upsetting Jonathan Shell, who was House Majority Leader at the time.

ORIGINAL STORY POSTED 1 p.m. TUESDAY, JUNE 30

FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – A veteran state lawmaker who has spent 22 years in the General Assembly during two different terms wins two more years.

In the Republican primary for the District 52 House seat, incumbent Ken Upchurch built a big lead in McCreary and Pulaski counties and then hung on with the results in Wayne County to defeat challenger Rhett Ramsey, a lawyer from Monticello in Wayne County.

Upchurch received 4,347 votes to Ramsey’s 3,276. Upchurch collected 1,823 votes in McCreary County and 1,018 in Pulaski while Ramsey got 724 and 345 in those two counties respectively.

In Wayne, Ramsey won 2,207 to 1,516 , but it wasn’t enough to pull off the upset.

Upchurch has served in the House from 1995 to 2010 and 2013 until now.

He has no Democratic opponent in the Nov. 3 general election.

In one of the closest races in the region, Mt. Vernon city administrator Josh Bray holds a narrow 30-vote — 4,107-4,077 — lead over first-term incumbent R. Travis Brenda in the Republican race for the 71st District House seat.

If the lead holds up, Bray will take over the seat because no Democrat is running in November.

The district includes parts of Garrard, Madison and Rockcastle counties and two men ran close in all three. Bray won Garrard 1,395 to 1,370, and Rockcastle, 1,863-1,606 while Brenda took Madison 1,101-849.

Brenda, of Crab Orchard, won the seat in 2018 by upsetting Jonathan Shell, who was House Majority Leader at the time.

In the District 56 House race which is open after Versailles Democrat incumbent Joe Graviss  is running for the state Senate after one term, Fayette County STEM teacher Lamar Allen outpolled Bob Gibson, the technology director and chief information officer for the Woodford County schools, 4,103 to 3,291.

The district covers parts of Fayette, Franklin and Woodford counties.

Not surprisingly, Gibson did well in Woodford, winning 2,488 to 1,71, but Allen made up ground in Franklin, which he won 878-549, and Fayette, where he overwhelmed Gibson 1,254 to 254.

In the Nov. 3 general election, Allen faces Versailles Republican Dan Fister, a farmer and retired contractor and property manager. Fister didn’t have an opponent in the Republican primary.

In another open seat where a veteran lawmaker isn’t seeking another term, Josh Branscum, a construction company executive from Russell Springs, defeated Mark Polston, a flooring contractor and Baptist minister, 5,510 to 4,194 to win the Republican nomination for the 83rd District House seat.

Branscom wins the seat, which covers parts of Clinton, Cumberland, Pulaski and Russell counties, because no Democrat is running.

Republican Jeff Hoover of Russell Springs isn’t seeking re-election.

In addition to being vice president of Branscum Construction, he was chairman of the state Board of Elections in 2018. Polston is a former deputy state attorney general.