HAZARD — Kentucky’s 84th District, which includes Perry County and a large portion of Harlan County, will have a new representative when this year ends. Republican Chris Fugate received 63 percent of the vote to win the office over the incumbent, Democrat Fitz Steele.
Fugate is the pastor of Gospel Light Baptist Church in Hazard and a former law enforcement official, having spent much of his career with Kentucky State Police. During his campaign, Fugate pledged to cut funding for Planned Parenthood. Fugate also pledged support for Gov. Bevin’s Medicaid waiver request, stating that the Affordable Care Act and KYNECT are contributing to state debt. He is opposed to additional borrowing by the state government, transgender bathrooms and federal government involvement with public schools; all according to his campaign website.
In a public statement following his win, Fugate said, “I want to thank everybody who worked so hard to help us in our run for State Representative of the 84th district in Perry and Harlan counties. I am honored to have the privilege to represent our people and be a voice for us. I pray that God will allow us to grow as a community, to continue to work hard together to make our counties a better place to raise our children and grow together. God is surely good to us. I ask you to pray for me that I will allow God to lead, guide and direct me as I speak for you. I love you all. God is good.”
Fitz Steele served four terms as State Representative. His tenure comes to an end at a time when Republicans are seizing control of the majority in Kentucky’s House of Representatives. House Speaker Greg Stumbo was also defeated on Election Day.
When the final tally came in on Election Day, Fugate finished with 10,278 votes to Steele’s 6,012.
Sam Neace can be reached at 606-629-3243 or on Twitter @HazardHerald.