Current delegation

This is a list of United States senators from Kentucky. The state's senators belong to Classes 2 and 3. Kentucky is currently represented in the U.S. Senate by Republicans Mitch McConnell (serving since 1985) and Rand Paul (serving since 2011). Currently, on his seventh term in office, McConnell has been the Senate Republican Leader since 2007, and is Kentucky's longest-serving senator.

List of senators

Class 2

Class 2 U.S. senators belong to the electoral cycle that has recently been contested in 2002, 2008, 2014, and 2020. The next election will be in 2026.

C

Class 3

Class 3 U.S. senators belong to the electoral cycle that has recently been contested in 1998, 2004, 2010, and 2016. The next election will be in 2022.

# Senator Party Dates in office Electoral history T T Electoral history Dates in office Party Senator #
Vacant Jun 1, 1792 –
Jun 18, 1792
Kentucky elected its senators a couple of weeks after statehood. 1 2nd 1 Kentucky elected its senators a couple of weeks after statehood. Jun 1, 1792 –
Jun 18, 1792
Vacant
1
Senator John Brown Kentucky.jpg

John Brown
Anti-
Admin.
Jun 18, 1792 –
Mar 3, 1805
Elected in 1792. Elected in 1792. Jun 18, 1792 –
Mar 3, 1795
Anti-
Admin.
John Edwards of Kentucky.jpg

John Edwards
1
Re-elected in 1792. 2 3rd
Democratic-
Republican
4th 2 Elected in 1794.
Lost re-election.
Mar 4, 1795 –
Mar 3, 1801
Federalist
Humphrey Marshall.jpg

Humphrey Marshall
2
5th
Re-elected in 1798.
Lost re-election.
3 6th
7th 3 Elected in 1800.
Resigned to become U.S. Attorney General.
Mar 4, 1801 –
Aug 7, 1805
Democratic-
Republican
John Breckinridge.jpg

John Breckinridge
3
8th
2
ThrustonBuckner.jpg

Buckner Thruston
Democratic-
Republican
Mar 4, 1805 –
Dec 18, 1809
Elected in 1804.
Resigned to become judge of the U.S. Circuit Court.
4 9th
  Aug 7, 1805 –
Nov 8, 1805
Vacant
Elected to finish Breckinridge's term.
Lost re-election and resigned because of participation in the Burr conspiracy.
Nov 8, 1805 –
Nov 18, 1806
Democratic-
Republican
JOHN ADAIR colour corrected.jpg

John Adair
4
Elected to finish Adair's term, despite not meeting the constitutional age minimum.
Retired.
Nov 19, 1806 –
Mar 3, 1807
Democratic-
Republican
Unsuccessful 1824 3.jpg

Henry Clay
5
10th 4 Elected in 1806.
Retired.
Mar 4, 1807 –
Mar 3, 1813
Democratic-
Republican
AR Pope John.jpg

John Pope
6
11th
Vacant Dec 18, 1809 –
Jan 10, 1810
 
3
Unsuccessful 1824 3.jpg

Henry Clay
Democratic-
Republican
Jan 10, 1810 –
Mar 3, 1811
Appointed to finish Thruston's term.
Retired.
4
George M. Bibb - Brady-Handy.jpg

George Bibb
Democratic-
Republican
Mar 4, 1811 –
Aug 23, 1814
Elected in 1811.
Resigned to return to private practice.
5 12th
13th 5 Elected in 1813.
Resigned.
Mar 4, 1813 –
Dec 24, 1814
Democratic-Republican
Jesse Bledsoe.jpg

Jesse Bledsoe
7
Vacant Aug 23, 1814 –
Aug 30, 1814
 
5 George Walker Democratic-
Republican
Aug 30, 1814 –
Feb 2, 1815
Appointed to continue Bibb's term.
Successor qualified.
6
WBarry.jpg

William Barry
Democratic-
Republican
Feb 2, 1815 –
May 1, 1816
Elected to finish Bibb's term.
Resigned to become judge of the Kentucky Circuit Court.
  Dec 24, 1814 –
Feb 2, 1815
Vacant
Elected in 1815 to finish Bledsoe's term.[1]
Retired or lost re-election.
Feb 2, 1815 –
Mar 3, 1819
Democratic-Republican
ITalbot.jpg

Isham Talbot
8
14th
Vacant May 1, 1816 –
Nov 3, 1816
 
7
Martin D Hardin.jpg

Martin Hardin
Democratic-Republican Nov 3, 1816 –
Mar 3, 1817
Appointed to continue Barry's term.
Elected in 1816 to finish Barry's term[2]
Retired.
8
John Jordan Crittenden, 1787-1863.jpg

John J. Crittenden
Democratic-
Republican
Mar 4, 1817 –
Mar 3, 1819
Elected in 1816.
Resigned to return to private practice.
6 15th
Vacant Mar 3, 1819 –
Dec 10, 1819
  16th 6 Elected in 1818.
Resigned to run for governor.
Mar 4, 1819 –
May 28, 1820
Democratic-Republican
William Logan of Kentucky.jpg

William Logan
9
9
RichardMentorJohnson.jpg

Richard Mentor Johnson
Democratic-
Republican
Dec 10, 1819 –
Mar 3, 1829
Elected to finish Logan's term.
  May 28, 1820 –
Oct 19, 1820
Vacant
Elected to finish Logan's term.
Retired or lost re-election.
Oct 19, 1820–
Mar 3, 1825
Democratic-Republican
ITalbot.jpg

Isham Talbot
10
17th
Re-elected in 1823.
Lost re-election.
7 18th
Jacksonian 19th 7 Election year unknown.
Retired or lost re-election.
Mar 4, 1825 –
Mar 3, 1831
Jacksonian
John Rowan.jpg

John Rowan
11
20th
10
George M. Bibb - Brady-Handy.jpg

George Bibb
Jacksonian Mar 4, 1829 –
Mar 3, 1835
Elected in 1829.
Retired or lost re-election.
8 21st
22nd 8   Mar 4, 1831 –
Nov 10, 1831
Vacant
Elected late in 1831. Nov 10, 1831 –
Mar 31, 1842
National
Republican
Henry Clay (copy after Edward Dalton Marchant).jpg

Henry Clay
12
23rd
11
John Jordan Crittenden, 1787-1863.jpg

John J. Crittenden
National
Republican
Mar 4, 1835 –
Mar 3, 1841
Elected in 1835.
Retired.
9 24th
Whig 25th 9 Re-elected in 1836.
Resigned.
Whig
26th
12
JTMorehead.jpg

James T. Morehead
Whig Mar 4, 1841 –
Mar 3, 1847
Elected in 1841.
Retired or lost re-election.
10 27th
Elected to finish Clay's term. Mar 31, 1842 –
Jun 12, 1848
Whig
John Jordan Crittenden, 1787-1863.jpg

John J. Crittenden
13
28th 10 Re-elected in 1843.
Resigned to become Governor of Kentucky.
29th
13
JRUnderwood.jpg

Joseph R. Underwood
Whig Mar 4, 1847 –
Mar 3, 1853
Election year unknown.
Retired.
11 30th
  Jun 12, 1848 –
Jun 23, 1848
Vacant
Appointed to continue Crittenden's term.
Elected in 1849 to finish Crittenden's term.[3]
Retired or lost re-election.
Jun 23, 1848 –
Mar 3, 1849
Whig
TMetcalfe.jpg

Thomas Metcalfe
14
31st 11 Elected in 1849.
Resigned effective Sep 6, 1852, but died Jun 24, 1852.
Mar 4, 1849 –
Jun 24, 1852
Whig
Clay 1848 (cropped).jpg

Henry Clay
15
32nd
  Jun 24, 1852 –
Jul 6, 1852
Vacant
Appointed to continue Clay's term.
Lost election to finish Clay's term.
Jul 6, 1852 –
Aug 31, 1852
Democratic
DavidMeriwether.jpg

David Meriwether
16
Elected in 1851 to finish Clay's term, in anticipation of Clay's resignation.
Retired.
Sep 1, 1852 –
Mar 3, 1855
Whig
Archibald Dixon cropped.jpg

Archibald Dixon
17
14
JBThompson.jpg

John B. Thompson
Know Nothing Mar 4, 1853 –
Mar 3, 1859
Elected in 1851, far in advance of the term.
Retired or lost re-election.
12 33rd
34th 12 Elected in 1854.
Retired.
Mar 4, 1855–
Mar 3, 1861
Whig
John Jordan Crittenden, 1787-1863.jpg

John J. Crittenden
18
35th Know Nothing
15
Lazarus W. Powell - Brady-Handy.jpg

Lazarus W. Powell
Democratic Mar 4, 1859 –
Mar 3, 1865
Elected in 1858.
Retired to run for U.S. President.
13 36th
37th 13 Elected in 1859, far in advance of the term.
Expelled for supporting the Confederacy.
Mar 4, 1861 –
Dec 4, 1861
Democratic
John C Breckinridge-04775-restored.jpg

John C. Breckinridge
19
  Dec 4, 1861 –
Dec 10, 1861
Vacant
Elected to finish Breckinridge's term. Dec 10, 1861 –
Sep 22, 1872
Unionist
GarrettDavisKY.jpg

Garrett Davis
20
38th
16
James Guthrie.jpg

James Guthrie
Democratic Mar 4, 1865 –
Feb 7, 1868
Elected in 1865.
Resigned due to ill health.
14 39th
40th 14 Re-elected in 1867.
Died.
Democratic
Vacant Feb 7, 1868 –
Feb 19, 1868
 
17
Thomas C. McCreery - Brady-Handy.jpg

Thomas C. McCreery
Democratic Feb 19, 1868 –
Mar 3, 1871
Elected to finish Guthrie's term.
Lost re-election.
41st
18
John Stevenson.jpg

John W. Stevenson
Democratic Mar 4, 1871 –
Mar 3, 1877
Elected in 1871.
Retired.
15 42nd
  Sep 22, 1872 –
Sep 27, 1872
Vacant
Appointed to continue Davis's term.
Elected in 1873 to finish Davis's term.[3]
Retired or lost re-election.
Sep 27, 1872 –
Mar 3, 1873
Democratic
WillisMachen.jpg

Willis Machen
21
43rd 15 Elected in 1872.
Retired.
Mar 4, 1873 –
Mar 3, 1879
Democratic
Thomas C. McCreery - Brady-Handy.jpg

Thomas C. McCreery
22
44th
19
James B. Beck - Brady-Handy.jpg

James B. Beck
Democratic Mar 4, 1877 –
May 3, 1890
Elected in 1876. 16 45th
46th 16 Elected in 1879.
Lost re-election.
Mar 4, 1879 –
Mar 3, 1885
Democratic
Confederate General John Stuart Williams.jpg

John Stuart Williams
23
47th
Re-elected in 1882. 17 48th
49th 17 Elected in 1884. Mar 4, 1885 –
Mar 3, 1897
Democratic
Jblackburn.jpg

Joseph Blackburn
24
50th
Re-elected in 1888.
Died.
18 51st
Vacant May 3, 1890 –
May 26, 1890
 
20
John Griffin Carlisle, Brady-Handy photo portrait, ca1870-1880.jpg

John Carlisle
Democratic May 26, 1890 –
Feb 4, 1893
Elected to finish Beck's term.
Resigned.
52nd 18 Re-elected in 1890.
Lost re-election.
Vacant Feb 4, 1893 –
Feb 15, 1893
 
21
William Lindsay.jpg

William Lindsay
Democratic Feb 15, 1893 –
Mar 3, 1901
Elected to finish Carlisle's term.
53rd
Re-elected in 1894.[4]
Retired.
19 54th
55th 19 Elected in 1897.
Retired.
Mar 4, 1897 –
Mar 3, 1903
Republican
WilliamDeboe.jpg

William J. Deboe
25
56th
22
Jblackburn.jpg

Joseph Blackburn
Democratic Mar 4, 1901 –
Mar 3, 1907
Elected in 1900.
Lost re-election.
20 57th
58th 20 Elected in 1902.[5]
Lost renomination.
Mar 4, 1903 –
Mar 3, 1909
Democratic
James B Mccreary.jpg

James B. McCreary
26
59th
23
TPaynter.jpg

Thomas H. Paynter
Democratic Mar 4, 1907 –
Mar 3, 1913
Elected in 1906.[6]
Retired.
21 60th
61st 21 Elected in 1908.[7]
Died.
Mar 4, 1909 –
May 23, 1914
Republican
William Bradley.jpg

William O. Bradley
27
62nd
24
Ollie Murray James, senator from Kentucky.jpg

Ollie Murray James
Democratic Mar 4, 1913 –
Aug 28, 1918
Elected in 1912.
Died.
22 63rd
  May 23, 1914 –
Jun 16, 1914
Vacant
Appointed to continue Bradley's term.
Elected in 1914 to finish Bradley's term.[3]
Retired.
Jun 16, 1914 –
Mar 3, 1915
Democratic
Camden Jr.jpg

Johnson N. Camden Jr.
28
64th 22 Elected in 1914.
Lost re-election.
Mar 4, 1915 –
Mar 3, 1921
Democratic
J. C. W. Beckham.jpg

J. C. W. Beckham
29
65th
Vacant Aug 28, 1918 –
Sep 7, 1918
 
25
GMartin.jpg

George B. Martin
Democratic Sep 7, 1918 –
Mar 3, 1919
Appointed to finish James's term.
Retired.
26
AOStanley.jpg

Augustus Stanley
Democratic Mar 4, 1919 –
Mar 3, 1925
Elected in 1918.
Didn't take seat until May 19, 1919 in order to remain Governor of Kentucky.
Lost re-election.
23 66th
67th 23 Elected in 1920.
Lost re-election.
Mar 4, 1921 –
Mar 3, 1927
Republican
Richard Pretlow Ernst.jpg

Richard P. Ernst
30
68th
27
Frederic Sacektt.jpg

Fred Sackett
Republican Mar 4, 1925 –
Jan 9, 1930
Elected in 1924.
Resigned to become U.S. Ambassador to Germany.
24 69th
70th 24 Elected in 1926. Mar 4, 1927 –
Jan 19, 1949
Democratic
AlbenBarkley.jpg

Alben W. Barkley
31
71st
Vacant Jan 9, 1930 –
Jan 11, 1930
 
28
JRobsion.jpg

John Robsion
Republican Jan 11, 1930 –
Nov 30, 1930
Appointed to continue Sackett's term.
Lost elections to finish Sackett's term and to next term.
29
Ben Mitchell Williamson.jpg

Ben M. Williamson
Democratic Dec 1, 1930 –
Mar 3, 1931
Elected in 1930 to finish Sackett's term.
Retired.
30
MMLogan.jpg

M. M. Logan
Democratic Mar 4, 1931 –
Oct 3, 1939
Elected in 1930. 25 72nd
73rd 25 Re-elected in 1932.
74th
Re-elected in 1936.
Died.
26 75th
76th 26 Re-elected in 1938.
Vacant Oct 3, 1939 –
Oct 10, 1939
 
31
Happy Chandler - Harris and Ewing Crop.jpg

Happy Chandler
Democratic Oct 10, 1939 –
Nov 1, 1945
Appointed to continue Logan's term.
Elected in 1940 to finish Logan's term.
77th
Re-elected in 1942.
Resigned to become Commissioner of Baseball.
27 78th
79th 27 Re-elected in 1944.
Resigned to become U.S. Vice President.
Vacant Nov 1, 1945 –
Nov 19, 1945
 
32
WStanfill.jpg

William A. Stanfill
Republican Nov 19, 1945 –
Nov 5, 1946
Appointed to continue Chandler's term.
Retired.
33
JohnShermanCooper.jpg

John Sherman Cooper
Republican Nov 6, 1946 –
Jan 3, 1949
Elected to finish Chandler's term.
Lost re-election.
80th
34
Senator Virgil Chapman (1895-1951).jpg

Virgil Chapman
Democratic Jan 3, 1949 –
Mar 8, 1951
Elected in 1948.
Died.
28 81st
Appointed to continue Barkley's term.
Resigned to trigger special election.
Jan 20, 1949 –
Nov 26, 1950
Democratic
Garrett Withers.jpg

Garrett Withers
32
Elected to finish Barkley's term, having been elected to the next term. Nov 27, 1950 –
Jan 3, 1957
Democratic
Earle-Clements.jpg

Earle Clements
33
82nd 28 Elected to full term in 1950.
Lost re-election.
Vacant Mar 8, 1951 –
Mar 19, 1951
 
35
TUnderwood.jpg

Thomas R. Underwood
Democratic Mar 19, 1951 –
Nov 4, 1952
Appointed to continue Chapman's term.
Lost election to finish Chapman's term.
36
JohnShermanCooper.jpg

John Sherman Cooper
Republican Nov 5, 1952 –
Jan 3, 1955
Elected to finish Chapman's term.
Lost re-election.
83rd
37
AlbenBarkley.jpg

Alben W. Barkley
Democratic Jan 3, 1955 –
Apr 30, 1956
Elected in 1954.
Died.
29 84th
Vacant Apr 30, 1956 –
Jun 21, 1956
 
38
RHumphreys.jpg

Robert Humphreys
Democratic Jun 21, 1956 –
Nov 6, 1956
Appointed to continue Barkley's term.
Retired when elected successor qualified.
39
JohnShermanCooper.jpg

John Sherman Cooper
Republican Nov 7, 1956 –
Jan 3, 1973
Elected to finish Barkley's term.
85th 29 Elected in 1956. Jan 3, 1957 –
Dec 16, 1968
Republican
Thruston B Morton.jpg

Thruston Morton
34
86th
Re-elected in 1960. 30 87th
88th 30 Re-elected in 1962.
Retired, and resigned early to give successor preferential seniority.
89th
Re-elected in 1966.
Retired.
31 90th
Appointed to finish Morton's term, having already been elected to the next term. Dec 17, 1968 –
Dec 27, 1974
Republican
Marlow Cook.jpg

Marlow Cook
35
91st 31 Elected in 1968.
Lost re-election, and resigned early to give successor preferential seniority.
92nd
40
WHuddleston.jpg

Walter Dee Huddleston
Democratic Jan 3, 1973 –
Jan 3, 1985
Elected in 1972. 32 93rd
Appointed to finish Cook's term, having already been elected to the next term. Dec 28, 1974 –
Jan 3, 1999
Democratic
Wendell Ford.jpg

Wendell Ford
36
94th 32 Elected in 1974.
95th
Re-elected in 1978.
Lost re-election.
33 96th
97th 33 Re-elected in 1980.
98th
41
Mitch McConnell portrait 2016.jpg

Mitch McConnell
Republican Jan 3, 1985 –
Present
Elected in 1984. 34 99th
100th 34 Re-elected in 1986.
101st
Re-elected in 1990. 35 102nd
103rd 35 Re-elected in 1992.
Retired.
104th
Re-elected in 1996. 36 105th
106th 36 Elected in 1998. Jan 3, 1999 –
Jan 3, 2011
Republican
Jim Bunning official photo.jpg

Jim Bunning
37
107th
Re-elected in 2002. 37 108th
109th 37 Re-elected in 2004.
Retired.
110th
Re-elected in 2008. 38 111th
112th 38 Elected in 2010. Jan 3, 2011 –
Present
Republican
Rand Paul, official portrait, 112th Congress alternate.jpg

Rand Paul
38
113th
Re-elected in 2014. 39 114th
115th 39 Re-elected in 2016.
116th
Re-elected in 2020. 40 117th
118th 40 Re-elected in 2022.
119th
To be determined in the 2026 election. 41 120th
121st 41 To be determined in the 2028 election.
# Senator Party Years in office Electoral history T   T Electoral history Years in office Party Senator #
Class 2 Class 3

Living former senators

As of November 2022, there are no living former U.S. senators from Kentucky. The last living former senator and the most recent was Walter Dee Huddleston (served 1973–1985), who died October 16, 2018. The most recently serving senator was Jim Bunning (served 1999–2011), who died May 26, 2017.

Superlatives

Longest service

Senator First served Last served Length of service
Mitch McConnell January 3, 1985 Present 37 years, 318 days
(13,832 days)
Wendell Ford December 28, 1974 January 3, 1999 24 years, 6 days
(8,772 days)
Alben W. Barkley March 4, 1927 January 19, 1949 Combined total: 23 years, 73 days
(8,468 days)
January 3, 1955 April 30, 1956
John Sherman Cooper November 6, 1946 January 3, 1949 Combined total: 20 years, 174 days
(7,474 days)
November 5, 1952 January 3, 1955
November 7, 1956 January 3, 1973
John J. Crittenden March 4, 1817 March 3, 1819 Combined total: 20 years, 70 days
(7,370 days)
March 4, 1835 March 3, 1841
March 31, 1842 June 12, 1848
March 4, 1855 March 3, 1861

Shortest service

Senator First served Last served Length of service
David Meriwether July 6, 1852 August 17, 1852 1 month, 1 week and 4 days
(42 days)
Ben M. Williamson December 1, 1930 March 3, 1931 3 months and 2 days
(92 days)
Martin D. Hardin November 13, 1816 March 3, 1817 3 months, 2 weeks and 4 days
(110 days)
Robert Humphreys June 21, 1956 November 6, 1956 4 months, 2 weeks and 2 days
(138 days)
George Walker August 30, 1814 February 2, 1815 5 months and 3 days
(156 days)

Youngest at beginning of service

Senator Date of birth First served Age
Henry Clay April 12, 1777 December 29, 1806 29 years, 8 months and 17 days
John J. Crittenden September 10, 1787 March 4, 1817 29 years, 5 months and 22 days
William T. Barry February 5, 1784 February 2, 1815 30 years, 11 months and 28 days
George M. Bibb October 30, 1776 March 4, 1811 34 years, 4 months and 4 days
John Brown September 12, 1757 June 18, 1792 34 years, 9 months and 6 days

Oldest at end of service

Senator Date of birth Last served Age
Mitch McConnell February 20, 1942 Present 80 years, 8 months and 28 days
Jim Bunning October 23, 1931 January 3, 2011 79 years, 2 months and 11 days
Alben W. Barkley November 24, 1877 April 30, 1956 78 years, 5 months and 6 days
Henry Clay April 12, 1777 June 29, 1852 75 years, 2 months and 17 days
James Guthrie December 5, 1792 February 7, 1868 75 years, 2 months and 2 days

See also

Notes

  1. ^ "Kentucky 1815 U.S. Senate, Ballot 2". Tufts Digital Collations and Archives. A New Nation Votes: American Election Returns 1787–1825. Tufts University. Retrieved February 25, 2018., citing The Union (Washington, KY). Jan 14, 1815. Argus of Western America (Frankfort, KY). Jan 7, 1815.
  2. ^ Byrd, p. 110.
  3. ^ a b c Byrd, p. 112.
  4. ^ Kleber, John E. (1992). The Kentucky Encyclopedia. p. 558. ISBN 0813128838.
  5. ^ "MANY VOTES TO ELECT". The New York Times. January 16, 1902. p. 3.
  6. ^ Schiller, Wendy J.; Stewart III, Charles (2015). Electing the Senate: Indirect Democracy before the Seventeenth Amendment. Princeton University Press. pp. 35–36. ISBN 9781400852680.
  7. ^ Tribune Almanac (1909), p. 315.

References