FRANKFORT, Ky. — Republicans have held on to an eastern Kentucky state House seat in a special election.

Returns show Republican Robert Goforth defeated Democrat Kelly Smith on Tuesday. Goforth will replace former GOP Rep. Marie Rader, who resigned in December because of health reasons. Goforth, a pharmacist, will fulfill the final year of Rader’s term.

It’s the second time this month voters have replaced a GOP lawmaker in this Republican-dominated state. Last week, Democrat Linda Belcher defeated Republican Rebecca Johnson by winning 68 percent of the vote. Belcher will replace former GOP Rep. Dan Johnson, who killed himself last year after facing sexual assault allegations.

Goforth is also running for a full two-year term. That election is in November. But first, he has to win a Republican primary on May 22 against Keith Hays, a high school principal.