Updated: Martha Emmons files to keep Gerald Watkins' House seat in the Democratic column

By BERRY CRAIG

AFT Local 1360

Paducah Democrat Martha Emmons has tossed her hat in the ring for the Third District state House seat, according to western Kentucky Democratic activist Daniel Hurt of Grand Rivers.

“I think she’s a winner,” said Hurt, a First Congressional District representative on the state Democratic Party's central executive committee.

Emmons filed today. She announced her candidacy at the McCracken County Democratic Executive Committee’s Christmas party, said Hurt, who attended the holiday gathering.

Emmons and her husband, Hutch Smith, have owned Bike World, a bicycle sales and repair shop, since 1987.

She hopes to succeed Kentucky State AFL-CIO-endorsed Rep. Gerald Watkins, D-Paducah, who is not seeking reelection.

Emmons has yet to officially file for the May 22 Democratic primary. Republicans Randy Bridges and Joni Hogancamp have announced they’re running, but they haven’t filed either.

The filing deadline is Jan. 30.

“I look forward to seeing what Martha Emmons’ vision is for the Third District,” said Hurt, 24, who was Watkins’ campaign manager in 2014 and last year and who chairs the Livingston County Democratic Committee.