by Ben Gierhart
In a surprise move, Justin Bramhall, an openly gay man running for Kentucky’s 79th legislative district seat has dropped out of the race. In a post he released on Facebook, Bramhall cites a respectful deference to incumbent Representative Susan Westrom, an overlap in ideology and a misunderstanding that she would be retiring after this legislative season as the impetus behind his decision.
He says that his campaign account will remain active and that he will continue raising funds and giving support to other candidates. The text of the post from his campaign Facebook below:
“Hi friends, today I withdrew my name from consideration to be the Democratic nominee for State Representative of Kentucky’s 79th Legislative District. It was a difficult decision, but it was the right one to make.
I understand some of you may be frustrated, upset, or even angry by this news. I too am disappointed. I hope you believe when I tell you that a lot of thought and counseling with advisors went into this decision.
Almost a year ago I began exploring the idea of running for State Representative because I was with the belief that current Rep. Susan Westrom was going to retire. She is a 22-year State House veteran with an abundance of knowledge and passion, however, she has made the decision to seek re-election and continue fighting for the people of Kentucky. Yes, I could have challenged her in the primary but she is a friend, a good person, and an influential voice in the legislature. A primary would have been costly for both of us, and potentially could have put the seat in jeopardy in November. As a person that shares the same vision and values for our State, I just can’t justify challenging her in the Primary Election. I hope you will all join me in supporting Rep. Westrom as our Democratic nominee.
Over the past several months your actions of support and words of encouragement have been truly humbling. Everyone deserves representation, and Kentucky has a long road ahead to get where we need to be.
I leave you with this: my campaign account will remain active and I will continue raising funds (looking forward to having Lance Bass visit soon). My voice won’t rest. I will keep fighting. I will support other candidates this year and I will be as influential as I possibly can be. This isn’t over. I will be back.“
QueerKentucky will continue to report on this and other races as the election season progresses.