However, Kentucky Republicans argued that the special election was an aberration, as only 15 percent of registered voters cast ballots on Tuesday.
The wife of a former Kentucky Republican lawmaker who killed himself previous year after facing sexual assault allegations has lost her attempt to fill the remainder of her husband's term in a special election that ended up being a referendum of sorts on the #metoo movement.
The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee said it's at least the 37th contested seat Democrats have taken from Republicans since Trump was inaugurated.
A special election is being held in Kentucky to replace a legislator who killed himself after allegations surfaced from a woman who accused him of sexually assaulting her when she was a teenager.
State Rep. Dan Johnson, R-Ky., addresses the public from his church regarding sexual assault allegations in Louisville, Ky., in December.
We are very pleased to announce that Linda Belcher has won the special election in Kentucky's 49th district to reclaim the seat she lost 50.4 to 49.6 in November 2016.
As for Johnson, she blamed her lost on voter fraud, though state officials said they have not received any complaints. Linda Belcher served in the legislature from 2008 to 2012 and 2014 to 2016 before losing to Dan Johnson. Belcher entered politics when her husband, Democratic state Representative Larry Belcher, died in a auto crash in 2008.
Polls close at 6 p.m. EST.
Tuesday's election was also one of the first signs in 2018 that Democrats have momentum heading into the pivotal midterm elections two years into Donald Trump's presidency.
As we reported in December, Dan Johnson, 57, was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on a bridge over the Salt River in Mount Washington.
'I've heard from people all day long saying they went to vote for me at the correct polling place and were refused the opportunity to vote, ' Johnson said in a statement.
The Kentucky district is the 18th formerly Republican-held district to fall into Democratic hands in a special election since Trump won the election.
Most voters were like Carol Schneider, 65, who gave her backing to Belcher. 'It's like we are in a third world country'.