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Kentucky Senate

Coordinates: 38°11′12.4″N 84°52′33.5″W / 38.186778°N 84.875972°W / 38.186778; -84.875972
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Kentucky Senate
Kentucky General Assembly
Coat of arms or logo
Term limits
New session started
January 2, 2024 (adjourned)
Robert Stivers (R)
since January 8, 2013
David P. Givens (R)
since January 8, 2019
Majority Leader
Damon Thayer (R)
since January 8, 2013
Minority Leader
Gerald Neal (D)
since January 3, 2023
Political groups
  •   Republican (31)


Length of term
4 years
AuthorityThe Legislative Department, Section 29, Kentucky Constitution
Salary$188.22/day + per diem (elected before January 1, 2023)
$203.28/day + per diem (elected after January 1, 2023)[1]
Last election
November 8, 2022
(19 seats)
Next election
November 5, 2024
(19 seats)
RedistrictingLegislative Control
Meeting place
Senate Chamber
Kentucky State Capitol
Frankfort, Kentucky
Legislative Research Commission

The Kentucky Senate is the upper house of the Kentucky General Assembly. The Kentucky Senate is composed of 38 members elected from single-member districts throughout the Commonwealth. There are no term limits for Kentucky senators. The Kentucky Senate meets at the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort annually beginning in January. Sessions last for 60 legislative days in even-numbered years and 30 legislative days in odd-numbered years.[2]

Republicans have had control of the Senate since 2000. They currently hold 31 seats to Democrats' 7.

Terms and qualifications[edit]

According to Section 32 of the Kentucky Constitution, a senator must:

  • be at least 30 years old;
  • be a citizen of Kentucky;
  • have resided in the state at least six years and the district at least one year prior to election.

Per section 30 of the Kentucky Constitution, senators are elected to four year staggered terms, with half the Senate elected every two years.


Prior to a 1992 constitutional amendment, the Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky presided over the Senate; the 1992 amendment created a new office of President of the Senate to be held by one of the 38 senators.


Additionally, each political party elects a floor leader, whip, and caucus chairman.

Current party leadership of the Kentucky Senate:


Senate composition by district
  Held by Democrats
  Held by Republicans
Session Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Republican Democratic Vacant
2017–2018 sessions 27 11 38 0
2019 session 28 9 37 1
2020 session 29 9 38 0
2021–2022 sessions 30 8 38 0
January 2, 2023[3] 31 6 37 1
January 6, 2023[4] 30 6 36 2
March 2, 2023[5] 30 7 37 1
June 8, 2023[6] 31 7 38 0
Latest voting share 82% 18%

List of current senators[edit]

District Senator Party Since Residence Counties represented
1 Jason Howell Republican 2021 Murray Calloway, Crittenden, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Lyon, Trigg
2 Danny Carroll Republican 2015 Benton Ballard, Carlisle, Livingston, Marshall, McCracken
3 Whitney Westerfield Republican 2013 Fruit Hill Caldwell, Christian, Muhlenberg
4 Robby Mills Republican 2019 Henderson Henderson, Hopkins, Union, Webster
5 Stephen Meredith Republican 2017 Leitchfield Breckinridge, Butler, Grayson, Meade, Ohio
6 Lindsey Tichenor Republican 2023 Smithfield Jefferson (Part), Oldham, Trimble
7 Adrienne Southworth Republican 2021 Lawrenceburg Anderson, Henry, Jefferson (Part), Shelby
8 Gary Boswell Republican 2023 Owensboro Daviess, Hancock, McLean
9 David P. Givens Republican 2009 Greensburg Barren, Edmondson, Green, Hart, Warren (Part)
10 Matthew Deneen Republican 2023 Elizabethtown Hardin, Jefferson (Part)
11 John Schickel Republican 2009 Union Boone (Part)
12 Amanda Mays Bledsoe Republican 2023 Lexington Boyle, Fayette (Part), Mercer, Woodford
13 Reggie Thomas Democratic 2014 Lexington Fayette (Part)
14 Jimmy Higdon Republican 2009 Lebanon Larue, Marion, Nelson, Spencer, Washington
15 Rick Girdler Republican 2017 Somerset Clinton, Cumberland, Pulaski, Russell, Wayne
16 Max Wise Republican 2015 Campbellsville Adair, Allen, Metcalfe, Monroe, Taylor, Warren (Part)
17 Damon Thayer Republican 2003 Georgetown Fayette (Part), Grant, Kenton (Part), Scott
18 Robin L. Webb Democratic 2009 Grayson Boyd, Carter, Greenup, Lewis
19 Cassie Chambers Armstrong Democratic 2023 Louisville Jefferson (Part)
20 Gex Williams Republican 2023[a] Verona Boone (Part), Carroll, Franklin, Gallatin, Kenton (Part), Owen
21 Brandon J. Storm Republican 2021 London Casey, Laurel, Lincoln, Rockcastle
22 Donald Douglas Republican 2021 Nicholasville Fayette (Part), Garrard, Jessamine
23 Christian McDaniel Republican 2013 Ryland Heights Kenton (Part)
24 Shelley Funke Frommeyer Republican 2023 Alexandria Bracken, Campbell, Kenton (Part), Pendleton
25 Robert Stivers Republican 1997 Manchester Clay, Jackson, Knox, McCreary, Owsley, Whitley
26 Karen Berg Democratic 2020 Louisville Jefferson (Part)
27 Steve West Republican 2015 Paris Bourbon, Fayette (Part), Fleming, Harrison, Mason, Nicholas, Robertson, Rowan
28 Greg Elkins Republican 2023 Winchester Bath, Clark, Fayette (Part), Menifee, Montgomery
29 Johnnie Turner Republican 2021 Harlan Bell, Floyd, Harlan, Knott, Letcher
30 Brandon Smith Republican 2008 Hazard Breathitt, Estill, Lee, Leslie, Magoffin, Morgan, Perry, Powell, Wolfe
31 Phillip Wheeler Republican 2019 Pikeville Elliott, Johnson, Lawrence, Martin, Pike
32 Mike Wilson Republican 2011 Bowling Green Logan, Simpson, Todd, Warren (Part)
33 Gerald Neal Democratic 1989 Louisville Jefferson (Part)
34 Jared Carpenter Republican 2011 Berea Fayette (Part), Madison
35 Denise Harper Angel Democratic 2005 Louisville Jefferson (Part)
36 Julie Raque Adams Republican 2015 Louisville Jefferson (Part)
37 David Yates Democratic 2021 Louisville Jefferson (Part)
38 Mike Nemes Republican 2020 Shepherdsville Bullitt, Jefferson (Part)

2023 Special Elections[edit]


Carolyn Conn Moore became the first woman to serve in the Kentucky Senate when in November 1949 she won a special election to replace her husband, J. Lee Moore, in the legislature after his death.[9] Georgia Davis Powers became the first person of color to be elected to the Kentucky Senate in 1967. Gerald Neal became the first African American ever to be elected to a leadership position in the Kentucky General Assembly in 2014.[10] Ralph Alvarado became the first Hispanic to serve in the Kentucky General Assembly when he was elected in 2014.[11]

Standing committees[edit]

As of 20 January 2023.[12]

Committee Chair Vice Chair
Agriculture Jason Howell (R-1) Gary Boswell (R-8)
Appropriations & Revenue Christian McDaniel (R-23) Amanda Mays Bledsoe (R-12)
Banking & Insurance Jared Carpenter (R-34) Rick Girdler (R-15)
Committee on Committees Robert Stivers (R-25) n/a
Economic Development, Tourism, & Labor Max Wise (R-16) Phillip Wheeler (R-31)
Education Steve West (R-27) Gex Williams (R-20)
Enrollment Amanda Mays Bledsoe (R-12) n/a
Families and Children Danny Carrol (R-2) Julie Raque Adams (R-36)
Health Services Stephen Meredith (R-5) Donald Douglas (R-22)
Judiciary Whitney Westerfield (R-3) Phillip Wheeler (R-31)
Licensing & Occupations John Schickel (R-11) Mike Nemes (R-38)
Natural Resources & Energy Brandon Smith (R-30) Johnnie Turner (R-29)
Rules Robert Stivers (R-25) n/a
State & Local Government Robby Mills (R-4) Mike Nemes (R-38)
Transportation Jimmy Higdon (R-14) Brandon J. Storm (R-21)
Veterans, Military Affairs, & Public Protection Rick Girdler (R-15) Matthew Deneen (R-10)

Past composition of the Senate[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Williams previously served in the senate from 1993 to 1999.


  1. ^ "How much do Kentucky's governor and other elected officials make? Here's a list". Louisville Courier-Journal. Retrieved January 17, 2024.
  2. ^ "Publications – The Council of State Governments". February 19, 2020.
  3. ^ Caldwell, Michael (January 9, 2023). "Ky. 19th Senatorial District special election to be held". WAVE.
  4. ^ "Alvarado sworn in as health commissioner in Tennessee". Winchester Sun. January 19, 2023.
  5. ^ "Kentucky Democrat wins special election to fill seat in state's GOP-dominated Senate". Associated Press. February 22, 2023.
  6. ^ "Kentucky's 28th District elects new state senator". wkyt.com. May 16, 2023. Retrieved June 5, 2023.
  7. ^ "Ky. 19th Senatorial District special election to be held". www.wave3.com. January 9, 2023. Retrieved January 22, 2023.
  8. ^ "Alvarado sworn in as health commissioner in Tennessee". The Winchester Sun. January 19, 2023. Retrieved February 20, 2023.
  9. ^ Oswald, Sharon (January 5, 1977). "From senate to housemother, Mrs. Moore is mother of 110". The Tuscaloosa News. Tuscaloosa. p. 8. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
  10. ^ Lawrence Smith (December 2, 2014). "Louisville state senator becomes first African-American elected to leadership in KY legislature". wdrb.com. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  11. ^ "Ralph Alvarado". cof.org. October 28, 2020. Retrieved February 24, 2023.
  12. ^ "2023 Senate Standing Committees". Retrieved January 20, 2023.

External links[edit]

38°11′12.4″N 84°52′33.5″W / 38.186778°N 84.875972°W / 38.186778; -84.875972