LANCASTER — Lancaster farmer Jonathan Shell won the Republican Party's nomination for the 36th District seat held by retiring Rep. Lonnie Napier, according to unofficial results from Tuesday's election.
Shell, 24, faced off against Garrard County Economic Development Director, Nathan Mick, 35, for their party's nomination. Shell will now face Democrat Bradley "Bud" Montgomery in November's election.
The 36th District encompasses all of Garrard County and part of Madison County. Napier, R-Lancaster, has served for 27 years and is retiring at the end of his term. The results across the entire district were 58 percent in favor of Shell, with 42 percent of the vote going to Mick.
Napier, Garrard County Judge-Executive John Wilson, Kentucky Right to Life and the Garrard Central Record all endorsed Mick.
However, Shell garnered about 63 percent of the votes in Garrard. Mick won the vote in only two of Garrard's 14 precincts, with 78 to Shell's 48 in Buena Vista and 61 to Shell's 56 in Gilbert's Creek.
"We put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into the campaign," Shell said. "We worked and prayed hard and the Lord blessed us today."
Shell, who has about 50 campaign volunteers, knows the work is far from over as he faces Montgomery in November. Montgomery lives in Berea and owns Montgomery Farm and Garden. He did not have an opponent in Tuesday's primary.
In Madison County, in which Shell’s wife Brooke was born and raised, Shell had 52 percent of the vote while Mick had 48 percent.
Mick called Shell to congratulate him on his win, also posting a brief statement on his campaign’s Facebook page. The statement mentions Mick’s wife, Maggie, who is finishing a term on Lancaster City Council and is not running for re-election.
“It's a humbling experience to campaign for elected office and we are thankful for the new friendships and incredible volunteers,” Nathan Mick said. “I am extremely grateful to all of you for everything you've done for me and Maggie during this campaign and throughout our lives.”