In light of a controversial redistricting plan, State Sen. Kathy Stein, D-Lexington, is weighing several options after being drawn out of her district.
The Democratic-controlled House approved new legislative maps Thursday, which originated in the Republican-controlled Senate and moves Stein’s downtown Lexington district to northeastern Kentucky, leaving her without a seat for two years.
The bill now goes to Governor Steve Beshear, who is being pressured by Stein’s supporters to veto the legislation. The governor is expected to sign the legislation, but his office is releasing a statement on the redistricting bill later today.
Stein says she will not move to seek re-election, but is mulling different courses of action, including a lawsuit or running for her old House seat.
“It hadn’t quite been 24 hours and there are a lot of options, some of them are still occurring to me and I’m hearing from friends. And I’m going to have to sit down and discuss the many options. I’m concerned that the people in downtown Lexington will not have a person there who knows the district as I do,” she says.
Stein is considered the most liberal state Senator in the General Assembly and is a constant critic of GOP leaders, chiefly Republican Senate President David Williams, R-Burkesville, whom she blames for the controversial plan.
Senate Republicans have denied the decision was political retaliation, but both sides have complained the plan is unfair.
Stein, who is a Lexington attorney, could run for her old House seat, which would ironically pit her against state Rep. Kelly Flood, D-Lexington, who made a passionate speech against the plan to draw Stein out of her Senate seat.
“Well a lawsuit is always an option, as an attorney whether its politics or anything else you can always sue somebody. But as an attorney you have to have good faith when doing it. I’m not saying it’s off the table, but it very well might be,” says Stein.
Stein was first elected to the state House in 1997 and later the state Senate in 2009.