Politics

District 21 Councilman Vitalis Lanshima won’t be returning to City Hall after losing his primary in May. He still wants to serve in public office, though. This time, he’s looking to his home country of Nigeria.

Lanshima will run for a seat in the Nigerian House of Representatives in 2019, he announced in a Facebook post on Friday. He wrote that he wants to represent the Jos North/Bassa area, which is northeast of the Nigerian capital Abuja.

“I will continue to serve District 21 until my term expires in December, providing the same quality service and leadership that D21 deserves,” he wrote.

He will not campaign on the ground in Nigeria in the next four months, he wrote.

Lanshima, a Democrat, took over the District 21 seat in late 2017. He was selected to serve out the remainder of the term vacated by Dan Johnson, whose fellow council members voted out in November 2017 following multiple allegations of sexual harassment.

Soon after taking office, Lanshima drew attention when news surfaced that his employer, Jefferson County Public Schools, had sought to fire him for inappropriate behavior. Lanshima denied the allegations, and shortly after was reinstated to his teaching job.

He did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Lanshima moved to Louisville in 2002. The track athlete was recruited by Bellarmine University, where he went on to teach.

He will run as a member of the All Progressives Congress, according to his Facebook page.

“As a Member of the Federal House of Representatives, my top priorities will be to work with every Member to find ways to stimulate economic development in Nigeria and work towards creating lasting peace in the country,” he wrote on his campaign website.

Louisville voters will choose his replacement at the polls in November.

Amina Elahi is WFPL's City Reporter.