KY primaries 2024: Brown holds off Whitley to keep House District 77 Dem nomination

Incumbent George Brown Jr. will again appear on the November General Election ballot after he secured the top number of votes in Tuesday night’s primary race.

Brown took home 67% of the vote against his opponent, Daniel Whitley, who secured 37% of the vote, according to unofficial election results.

House District 77 includes much of the northern portion of downtown Lexington and the city’s historically Black East End. It also stretches out to include neighborhoods along Newtown Pike and Georgetown Road, as well as those near Masterson Station Park.

The district is the the only majority minority district in Kentucky outside of Louisville.

Brown’s said his top priorities if elected are to advocate for women’s health care and “women’s autonomy over their bodies.” He also values supporting public education and voting rights for ex-felons, including automatic restoration after people have completed sentences and paid all restitution.

He believes his experience is what set him apart from his opponent, Whitley, who is a Lexington defense attorney.

“I’d hope that our message resonated, that our experience came through. We tried to inform people of the things that we’ve done in spite of working in a super minority,” Brown said of serving in the 20-member Democratic caucus in the 100-member House.

Going into a new term, Brown could be the only continuously serving Democratic House member who would remember what serving in a majority is like, he told the Herald-Leader in initial interviews. Addressing the balance within the General Assembly, he said, comes from addressing the rural and urban divide.

He touts himself as a decades-long social and youth advocate. He worked at the University of Kentucky, with the Bluegrass Employment Training program as a financial person and worked with a number of children in those summer youth programs and year-round programs.

“I’m thankful to the people of the 77th House District. Onward and upward to the general,” Brown said.

Brown will face Republican Jason Griffith in the general. The district is heavily Democratic; President Joe Biden won there by more than 50 percentage points in 2020.