Metro Louisville

The field of candidates who will campaign for Louisville Metro Council in the coming months is now locked in. The filing deadline for prospective candidates expired Tuesday afternoon.

Five incumbent Metro Council members are officially giving up their seats and will not seek re-election. Only 13 districts, the odd-numbered ones, will hold elections this year. The Republican and Democratic primaries are currently scheduled for May 17, but a bill filed by Rep. Jerry Miller, R-Louisville, would delay the election until Aug. 2 and allow new candidates to file until May 31. The House hasn’t taken any action on that yet.

In Louisville’s District 1 — which includes parts of the Chickasaw, Parkland and Russell neighborhoods — Democratic Council Member Jessica Green will not be on the ballot. Green has represented her West End district since 2015, but she announced last fall that she will be running for Circuit Court Judge instead.

“Serving the citizens of District 1 has been one of the greatest honors of my life,” Green told her constituents on Facebook back in October. “I look forward to supporting our next council person as an active resident.”

There are currently five candidates, one Republican and four Democrats, who have filed to replace Green.

Another two-term Metro Council Member, Bill Hollander, will also give up his seat after this year’s election. Hollander has been the Democratic representative for District 9 since 2015, and has held the powerful position of chairing the Council’s Budget Committee. He played a key role in the deep budget cuts Metro Council implemented in 2019 to combat rising pension costs, as well as the more recent allocation of hundreds of millions of dollars in federal COVID-19 relief.

Hollander announced his decision not to run for reelection in his regular newsletter to constituents last July, saying he wanted to give potential successors time to consider their options before the filing deadline.

“My service on Metro Council has definitely not been a vacation and there will be varying views on whether it has been good,” Hollander wrote. “But it is coming to an end.”

Six Democrats and one Republican have filed to run for the vacant District 9 seat.

Metro Council members in three other districts will not run for re-election: Democrats Kevin Triplett of District 15 and Nicole George of District 21, as well as District 23 Republican James Peden. Triplett, whose district includes Iroquois and nearby South End neighborhoods, said last year he will “try my hand at retirement.” George told her constituents she wanted to focus on her service through 2023 without the distractions of campaigning.

Peden, who has served for two decades, did not file to run for reelection. He will instead run for the Kentucky Senate in District 26, which includes Oldham County. Jeff Hudson, a Republican, was the only person who filed to replace him on Metro Council.

Five people, all Democrats, filed to run in District 15. In District 21, one candidate from each party will face off in the general election in November.

In total, eight Metro Council members will be up for re-election this year:

  • District 3’s Keisha Dorsey (Shively)
  • District 5’s Donna Purvis (Portland, Shawnee)
  • District 7’s Paula McCraney (St. Matthews)
  • District 11’s Kevin Kramer (Jeffersontown, Forest Hills)
  • District 13’s Mark Fox (Fairdale area)
  • District 17’s Markus Winkler (Anchorage)
  • District 19’s Anthony Piagentini (Middletown)
  • District 25’s Amy Holton Stewart (Valley Station, Auburndale)

Only two incumbents will face a primary challenge.

Gibran Cook, a local Amateur Athletic Union girls basketball coach, will run against Council Member Dorsey in the District 3 Democratic primary. The winner of that race would represent the Shively area.

District 5’s Donna Purvis will face the largest primary field of any incumbent. She’ll face two challengers: Retired LMPD Officer Ray “Sir Friendly” Barker and paralegal Sherlena Watkins.

Purvis delivered an upset in 2018 when she defeated long-serving Council Member Cheri Bryant Hamilton in the Democratic primary. She currently represents the majority Black District 5, which covers parts of Shawnee, Portland and Russell in west Louisville.

Of the eight sitting Metro Council members running for re-election, four will have a challenger from a different party in November.

But Council Members Anthony Piagentini of District 19 and Kevin Kramer of District 11 — both Republicans — will not have anyone running against them so they will not have to mount re-election campaigns.

You can find a full list of Louisville residents who have filed to run for Metro Council this year on the Jefferson County Clerk’s website.

Correction: A previous version of this story said James Peden is running for re-election. The story has been updated to reflect new information from the County Clerk.

Roberto Roldan is the City Politics and Government Reporter for WFPL.