1992 United States Senate election in Kentucky

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1992 United States Senate election in Kentucky

← 1986 November 3, 1992 1998 →
  Wendell Ford.jpg David L. Williams.jpg
Nominee Wendell Ford David L. Williams
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 836,888 476,604
Percentage 62.9% 35.8%

Kentucky Senate Election Results by County, 1992.svg
Country Results

Ford:      40-50%      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%      80–90%

Williams:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%
     70–80%

U.S. Senator before election

Wendell Ford
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Wendell Ford
Democratic

The 1992 United States Senate election in Kentucky took place on November 3, 1992. It was concurrent with elections to the United States House of Representatives. Incumbent Democratic U.S Senator Wendell Ford won re-election to a fourth term. As of 2019, this is the last Senate election in Kentucky in which a Democrat won.

Republican primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Campaign[edit]

Denny Ormerod, a machinist from Louisville dropped out before the primary election.[1] Though Williams and Thompson represented opposing factions in the state Republican Party – Williams managed Larry Hopkins' 1991 primary campaign while Thompson worked full-time for Hopkins' primary opponent Larry Forgy – the two virtually ignored each other in the primary campaign, choosing instead to focus their rhetoric against Ford.[1] Thompson did question Williams' conservative credentials on grounds that he voted in favor of the tax increase associated with the Kentucky Education Reform Act.[1] Ormerod's campaign largely focused on socially conservative issues, but it was Williams who secured the endorsement of Kentucky Right to Life, who cited his lawsuit to free three anti-abortion bills from committee in the 1992 legislative session.[1] As a result of the largely uninspiring primary campaigns, there was only an 18% voter turnout in the Republican primary. Williams won the nomination.[2]

Results[edit]

Republican primary results[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican David Williams 49,880 60.9%
Republican Phillip Thompson 25,026 30.5%
Republican Denny Ormerod 7,066 8.6%

General election[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Campaign[edit]

Ford, the Senate Majority Whip and a former governor, raised $2.4 million for his campaign, about eight times the amount Williams raised.[4] Given his limited finances, Williams relied on news conferences and interviews on small town radio stations to get his message out.[4] Williams repeatedly lamented that Ford would not agree to a formal debate; Ford said that could not be arranged because Congress was still in session and he needed to be in Washington.[5] During the campaign, Williams attempted to paint Ford as too liberal for Kentucky voters, citing his votes against the Gulf War and Clarence Thomas' confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court.[6] Both candidates declared their support for a Balanced Budget Amendment, but Williams said that Ford's support of pork barrel projects for the state and a procedural vote that kept the amendment from a vote in 1991 were evidence that Ford's support was not genuine.[6]

Results[edit]

Ford had no trouble winning on election night. Ford won easily, despite the fact that fellow Democrat Bill Clinton was not declared the winner of the presidential race in Kentucky until around 10:00 E.S.T. Ford pulled big margins out of the majority of Kentucky's 124 counties. This would be Ford's last term in the senate. He served his final term from January 3, 1993, to January 3, 1999. Ford died some fifteen years after his retirement at the age of 90.

General election results[7]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Wendell H. Ford (Incumbent) 836,888 62.9%
Republican David L. Williams 476,604 35.8%
Libertarian James A. Ridenour 17,366 1.3%

By county[edit]

[8]

County Ford# Ford% Williams# Williams% Ridenour# Ridenour%
Adair 2,378 41.69% 3,280 57.51% 45 0.8%
Allen 2,203 47.29% 2,417 51.89% 38 0.82%
Anderson 3,543 61.42% 2,145 37.19% 80 1.39%
Ballard 3,128 83.61% 579 15.48% 34 0.91%
Barren 6,990 61.05% 4,375 38.21% 85 0.74%
Bath 2,616 77.51% 724 21.45% 35 1.04%
Bell 5,364 63.77% 2,901 34.49% 147 1.74%
Boone 11,372 53.49% 9,525 44.80% 364 1.71%
Bourbon 4,188 69.17% 1,777 29.35% 90 1.48%
Boyd 13,256 67.92% 6,076 31.13% 184 0.95%
Boyle 5,025 60.48% 3,210 38.64% 73 0.88%
Bracken 1,740 72.90% 609 25.51% 38 1.59%
Breathitt 3,910 80.24% 931 19.10% 32 0.66%
Breckinridge 4,314 66.70% 2,112 32.65% 42 0.65%
Bullitt 10,954 63.05% 6,205 35.71% 216 1.24%
Butler 1,817 44.34% 2,255 55.03% 26 0.63%
Caldwell 3,644 68.69% 1,626 30.65% 35 0.66%
Calloway 7,452 64.06% 4,058 34.89% 122 1.05%
Campbell 15,765 57.38% 11,181 40.69% 531 1.93%
Carlisle 1,760 78.12% 480 21.30% 13 0.58%
Carroll 2,449 77.28% 664 20.95% 56 1.77%
Carter 4,973 64.95% 2,628 34.32% 56 0.73%
Casey 1,832 41.02% 2,581 57.79% 53 1.19%
Christian 7,982 55.71% 6,210 43.34% 136 0.95%
Clark 6,106 63.24% 3,442 35.65% 107 1.11%
Clay 2,250 40.81% 3,210 58.23% 53 0.96%
Clinton 1,297 36.42% 2,222 62.40% 42 1.18%
Crittenden 2,120 63.26% 1,210 36.11% 21 0.63%
Cumberland 1,041 36.46% 1,804 63.19% 10 0.35%
Daviess 22,194 67.16% 10,374 31.39% 478 1.45%
Edmonson 1,782 45.86% 2,082 53.57% 22 0.57%
Elliott 1,944 86.90% 268 11.98% 25 1.12%
Estill 2,623 55.96% 2,013 42.95% 51 1.09%
Fayette 45,941 56.29% 34,047 41.72% 1,621 1.99%
Fleming 2,909 67.95% 1,321 30.86% 51 1.19%
Floyd 13,138 84.67% 2,223 14.33% 155 1.00%
Franklin 12,717 70.40% 4,986 27.60% 362 2.00%
Fulton 1,999 75.60% 616 23.30% 29 1.10%
Gallatin 1,419 75.16% 432 22.88% 37 1.96%
Garrard 2,359 55.00% 1,901 44.32% 29 0.68%
Grant 3,297 69.87% 1,338 28.35% 84 1.78%
Graves 9,596 74.69% 3,115 24.24% 137 1.07%
Grayson 3,753 49.81% 3,694 49.02% 88 1.17%
Green 2,100 46.48% 2,394 52.99% 24 0.53%
Greenup 8,691 67.36% 4,096 31.74% 116 0.90%
Hancock 2,141 69.47% 855 27.74% 86 2.79%
Hardin 14,858 62.15% 8,728 36.51% 321 1.34%
Harlan 7,370 73.96% 2,500 25.09% 95 0.95%
Harrison 4,084 71.53% 1,567 27.44% 59 1.03%


Hart 3,351 65.35% 1,744 34.01% 33 0.64%
Henderson 10,891 72.82% 3,912 26.15% 154 1.03%
Henry 3,483 75.54% 1,065 23.09% 63 1.37%
Hickman 1,808 77.33% 493 21.09% 37 1.58%
Hopkins 11,672 73.07% 4,127 25.84% 174 1.09%
Jackson 1,011 28.16% 2,543 70.84% 36 1.00%
Jefferson 195,253 64.96% 100,956 33.58% 4,379 1.46%
Jessamine 5,778 52.55% 5,101 46.39% 117 1.06%
Johnson 4,672 63.05% 2,650 35.76% 88 1.19%
Kenton 24,978 53.01% 21,040 44.66% 1,098 2.33%
Knott 5,299 85.87% 799 12.95% 73 1.18%
Knox 4,594 56.58% 3,443 42.41% 82 1.01%
LaRue 3,006 67.37% 1,412 31.64% 44 0.99%
Laurel 6,202 46.12% 7,127 53.00% 119 0.88%
Lawrence 2,813 63.17% 1,601 35.95% 39 0.88%
Lee 1,395 53.02% 1,207 45.88% 29 1.10%
Leslie 1,766 44.62% 2,171 54.85% 21 0.53%
Letcher 5,488 74.26% 1,775 24.02% 127 1.72%
Lewis 2,001 47.87% 2,122 50.77% 57 1.36%
Lincoln 3,501 62.54% 2,049 36.60% 48 0.86%
Livingston 2,886 75.71% 876 22.98% 50 1.31%
Logan 4,903 61.77% 2,953 37.20% 82 1.03%
Lyon 1,998 76.17% 596 22.72% 29 1.11%
Madison 10,976 60.69% 6,914 38.23% 196 1.08%
Magoffin 3,256 70.17% 1,327 28.60% 57 1.23%
Marion 4,149 77.71% 1,125 21.07% 65 1.22%
Marshall 8,648 72.47% 3,199 26.80% 87 0.73%
Martin 2,097 58.09% 1,466 40.61% 47 1.30%
Mason 3,552 66.45% 1,737 32.50% 56 1.05%
McCracken 17,841 70.58% 7,262 28.73% 175 0.69%
McCreary 1,853 47.55% 1,948 49.99% 96 2.46%
McLean 2,759 73.12% 967 25.63% 47 1.25%
Meade 4,776 70.60% 1,891 27.95% 98 1.45%
Menifee 1,423 77.72% 391 21.35% 17 0.93%
Mercer 3,829 62.23% 2,195 35.67% 129 2.10%
Metcalfe 1,895 57.27% 1,377 41.61% 37 1.12%
Monroe 1,464 35.46% 2,618 63.40% 47 1.14%
Montgomery 4,719 72.88% 1,669 25.78% 87 1.34%
Morgan 2,928 81.70% 620 17.30% 36 1.00%
Muhlenberg 8,685 74.52% 2,870 24.63% 99 0.85%
Nelson 6,617 68.88% 2,827 29.42% 163 1.70%
Nicholas 1,597 74.56% 492 22.97% 53 2.47%
Ohio 5,106 62.61% 2,985 36.60% 64 0.79%
Oldham 7,612 50.16% 7,425 48.93% 138 0.91%
Owen 2,418 75.09% 765 23.76% 37 1.15%
Owsley 854 53.68% 717 45.07% 20 1.25%
Pendleton 2,480 68.64% 1,047 28.98% 86 2.38%
Perry 6,656 70.04% 2,768 29.13% 79 0.83%
Pike 18,032 73.43% 6,372 25.95% 153 0.62%
Powell 2,586 67.50% 1,174 30.65% 71 1.85%
Pulaski 7,623 48.50% 7,964 50.66% 132 0.84%
Robertson 582 71.94% 217 26.82% 10 1.24%
Rockcastle 1,839 41.83% 2,533 57.62% 24 0.55%
Rowan 4,572 70.80% 1,819 28.17% 67 1.03%
Russell 2,560 39.02% 3,953 60.25% 48 0.73%
Scott 5,305 63.80% 2,913 35.03% 97 1.17%
Shelby 5,754 61.05% 3,577 37.95% 94 1.00%
Simpson 2,991 62.08% 1,789 37.13% 38 0.79%
Spencer 1,862 69.37% 793 29.55% 29 1.08%
Taylor 4,413 53.56% 3,780 45.88% 46 0.56%
Todd 1,893 62.70% 1,050 34.78% 76 2.52%
Trigg 2,804 67.55% 1,283 30.91% 64 1.54%
Trimble 1,905 75.78% 583 23.19% 26 1.03%
Union 4,286 80.75% 981 18.48% 41 0.77%
Warren 14,177 50.62% 13,558 48.41% 273 0.97%
Washington 2,502 64.34% 1,315 33.81% 72 1.85%
Wayne 2,675 50.34% 2,590 48.74% 49 0.92%
Webster 4,240 81.59% 894 17.20% 63 1.21%
Whitley 4,610 50.38% 4,404 48.13% 136 1.49%
Wolfe 1,730 78.64% 441 20.05% 29 1.31%
Woodford 4,624 57.85% 3,270 40.91% 99 1.24%

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Straub, "GOP Candidates: Ford Ripe Target as Incumbent"
  2. ^ Straub, "Campaign '92: Primary Results"
  3. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-11-13. Retrieved 2011-05-18.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ a b Gibson, "Election Results 1992"
  5. ^ Straub, "Williams Jabs Ford on Legislative Record"
  6. ^ a b Straub, "Campaign '92: U.S. House and Senate"
  7. ^ http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=3489
  8. ^ https://elect.ky.gov/results/1990-1999/Pages/1992.aspx