The daughter of the late Louisville Metro Councilwoman Judy Green is running for the seat once occupied by her mother.
Attorney Jessica Green is a 32-year-old former prosecutor in the Commonwealth Attorney’s office who is running against incumbent Attica Scott in the Democratic primary.
Green’s mother represented District 1, which covers parts of west and southwest Louisville, for five years.
Judy Green was the first candidate to defeat an incumbent in council history. In 2011, she was ousted from office over a pair of ethics violations—also a Metro Government first.
The former councilwoman died last January, and though her political career came to a controversial ending hundreds at her funeral including family members, constituents and community leaders praised Judy Green’s work in the community.
Jessica Green says residents have moved beyond the scandal but do recall her mother’s outreach to community groups and others. She adds that formers critics are backing her candidacy.
“I’ve gotten so much support from individuals who appreciate the legacy of my mother and great feedback from those who know and love me and know about the work I can do,” Green told WFPL in a telephone interview.
“That time has passed, it’s over and there’s nothing we can do about it. What I’m focusing on is bridging gaps and I think that if anybody checks my filing papers and they see that Ray Barker, the individual who initially filed the complaint against my mother actually signed my filing papers. So that’s part of the work I want to do in District 1. My mother taught me about forgiveness and love, and that’s the way I was raised and it’s part of our Christian values.”
Barker, a former Metro Police officer known as “Sir Friendly C” was the one who filed the initial ethics complaints against Judy Green three years ago, which alleged she used a summer jobs program to benefit her relatives. He confirmed with WFPL he is supporting Jessica Green against Scott this spring.
“I would say at this time and juncture in our community Jessica is what we need,” he says. “In my eyes she brings the honesty of a Sir Friendly C and she’s got the fighter genes from her mom. She is the best of both worlds.”
Scott defeated Barker and three other candidates in a 2012 special election garnering 49 percent of the vote.
Green’s campaign will focus on reducing crime, building affordable housing and bringing economic development to the district. She says constituents have also complained about a lack of access to their city representative.
“There are a variety of concerns that people have indicated that they have that I’m hoping to be able to address in a more effective manner,” says Green. “The biggest issues I think is people being able to get to their council person and the accessibility.”
Scott says she has attended every neighborhood and home owner’s association in the district on numerous occasions since first being appointed in 2011.
“There are a number of issues that need to continue to be address, and that’s what I will be focusing on.”
The District 1 seat includes the Parkland, Chickasaw and Lake Dreamland neighborhoods.
Gabe Bullard contributed to this story