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Kentucky State Senate
Kentucky General Assembly
Coat of arms or logo
Term limits
New session started
January 8, 2019
Robert Stivers (R)
since January 4, 2013
David P. Givens (R)
since January 8, 2019
Majority Leader
Damon Thayer (R)
since January 4, 2013
Minority Leader
Morgan McGarvey (D)
since January 8, 2019
Kentucky state senate 2021-2023.svg
Political groups
  •   Republican (30)


Length of term
4 years
AuthorityThe Legislative Department, Section 29, Kentucky Constitution
Salary$188.22/day + per diem
Last election
November 6, 2020
(19 seats)
Next election
November 3, 2022
(19 seats)
RedistrictingLegislative Control
Meeting place
Senate Chamber - Kentucky State Capitol - DSC09173.JPG
State 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.[1]

Republicans have had control of the Senate since 2000. They currently hold 30 seats to Democrats' 8.

Terms and qualifications

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

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:


Affiliation Party
(Shading indicates majority caucus)
Republican Democratic Vacant
Previous Legislature (2017-2018) 26 11 37 1
Previous Legislature (2019-2020) 28 10 38 0
Begin 2021 30 8 38 0
July 6, 2021[3] 29 8 38 1
November 2, 2021[4] 30 8 38 0
Latest voting share 79% 21% 38 0

List of current Senators

District Senator Party Since Residence Counties represented
1 Jason Howell Republican 2021 Murray Calloway, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Lyon, Trigg
2 Danny Carroll Republican 2015 Paducah Ballard, Carlisle, Marshall, McCracken
3 Whitney Westerfield Republican 2013 Crofton Christian, Logan, Todd
4 Robby Mills Republican 2019 Henderson Caldwell, Crittenden, Henderson, Livingston, Union, Webster
5 Stephen Meredith Republican 2017 Leitchfield Breckinridge, Edmonson, Grayson, Hart, LaRue, Meade
6 C. B. Embry Republican 2015 Morgantown Butler, Hopkins, Muhlenberg, Ohio
7 Adrienne Southworth Republican 2021 Lawrenceburg Anderson, Franklin, Gallatin, Owen, Woodford
8 Matt Castlen Republican 2019 Owensboro Daviess, Hancock, McLean
9 David P. Givens Republican 2009 Greensburg Allen, Barren, Green, Metcalfe, Monroe, Simpson
10 Dennis Parrett Democratic 2011 Elizabethtown Hardin, Jefferson
11 John Schickel Republican 2009 Union Boone
12 Alice Forgy Kerr Republican 1999 Lexington Fayette
13 Reggie Thomas Democratic 2014 Lexington Fayette
14 Jimmy Higdon Republican 2009 Lebanon Casey, Jefferson, Marion, Nelson, Spencer
15 Rick Girdler Republican 2017 Somerset Boyle, Lincoln, Pulaski
16 Max Wise Republican 2015 Campbellsville Adair, Clinton, Cumberland, McCreary, Russell, Taylor, Wayne
17 Damon Thayer Republican 2003 Georgetown Grant, Kenton, Scott
18 Robin L. Webb Democratic 2009 Grayson Boyd, Carter, Greenup
19 Morgan McGarvey Democratic 2012 Louisville Jefferson
20 Paul Hornback Republican 2011 Shelbyville Carroll, Henry, Jefferson, Shelby, Trimble
21 Brandon Storm Republican 2021 London Bath, Estill, Jackson, Laurel, Menifee, Powell
22 Donald Douglas Republican 2021 Nicholasville Fayette, Garrard, Jessamine, Mercer, Washington
23 Christian McDaniel Republican 2013 Taylor Mill Kenton
24 Wil Schroder Republican 2015 Wilder Bracken, Campbell, Pendleton
25 Robert Stivers Republican 1997 Manchester Clay, Knox, Lee, Owsley, Whitley, Wolfe
26 Karen Berg Democratic 2020 Louisville Jefferson, Oldham
27 Steve West Republican 2015 Paris Bourbon, Fleming, Harrison, Lewis, Mason, Nicholas, Robertson, Rowan
28 Ralph Alvarado Republican 2015 Winchester Clark, Fayette, Montgomery
29 Johnnie Turner Republican 2021 Harlan Floyd, Harlan, Knott, Letcher
30 Brandon Smith Republican 2008 Hazard Bell, Breathitt, Johnson, Leslie, Magoffin, Perry
31 Phillip Wheeler Republican 2019 Pikeville Elliott, Lawrence, Martin, Morgan, Pike
32 Mike Wilson Republican 2011 Bowling Green Warren
33 Gerald Neal Democratic 1989 Louisville Jefferson
34 Jared Carpenter Republican 2011 Berea Fayette, Madison, Rockcastle
35 Denise Harper Angel Democratic 2005 Louisville Jefferson
36 Julie Raque Adams Republican 2015 Louisville Jefferson
37 David Yates Democratic 2021 Louisville Jefferson
38 Mike Nemes Republican 2006 Shepherdsville Bullitt, Jefferson


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.[5] Gerald Neal became the first African-American to be elected to the Kentucky Senate in 1988. Gerald Neal also became the first African-American ever to be elected to a leadership position in the Kentucky General Assembly in 2014.[6]

Standing Committees

As of 16 July 2018.[7]

Committee Chair Vice Chair
Agriculture Paul Hornback (R-20) Steve West (R-27)
Appropriations and Revenue Christian McDaniel (R-23) Stan Humphries (R-1)
Banking and Insurance Tom Buford (R-22) Jared Carpenter (R-34)
Economic Development and Tourism Alice Forgy Kerr (R-12) Rick Girdler (R-15)
Education Max Wise (R-16) Steve West (R-27)
Health and Welfare Julie Raque Adams (R-36) Ralph Alvarado (R-28)
Judiciary Whitney Westerfield (R-3) Wil Schroder (R-24)
Licensing, Occupations John Schickel (R-11) Paul Hornback (R-20)
Natural Resources and Environment Jared Carpenter (R-24) Brandon Smith (R-30)
State Government Joe Bowen (R-8) Stan Humphries (R-1)
Transportation Ernie Harris (R-26) Brandon Smith (R-30)
Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection Albert Robinson (R-21) C. B. Embry Jr. (R-6)

Past composition of the Senate

Main article: Political party strength in Kentucky

See also


  1. ^ "Publications – The Council of State Governments".
  2. ^ "Dennis Parrett accepts leadership role in state Senate".
  3. ^ Tom Buford died of cancer; Desrochers, Daniel (July 6, 2021). "Kentucky State Senator Tom Buford dies at 72". Lexington Herald-Leader. Retrieved July 7, 2021.
  4. ^ Donald Douglas elected to replace Tom Buford in special election; Combs, Dillan (November 3, 2021). "Donald Douglas unofficial winner of District 22 Special Election". Jessamine Journal. Retrieved November 4, 2021.
  5. ^ Oswald, Sharon (January 5, 1977). "From senate to housemother, Mrs. Moore is mother of 110". The Tuscaloosa News. Tuscaloosa: The Tuscaloosa News. p. 8. Retrieved March 15, 2010.
  6. ^ Lawrence Smith (December 2, 2014). "Louisville state senator becomes first African-American elected to leadership in KY legislature". Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  7. ^ "2018 Senate Standing Committees". Kentucky Legislature. Retrieved July 16, 2018.

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