Community Metro Louisville

Several members of Metro Council’s 19-person Democratic Caucus announced their support for mayoral candidate Craig Greenberg on Tuesday. But their group endorsement left some residents and another candidate questioning their motives.

District 3 Council Member Keisha Dorsey said during a press conference that by endorsing Greenberg, she’s committing to holding him accountable and to working with him on ensuring equitable conditions for all city residents. 

“This is not just about an endorsement, or rubber stamp or green light. This is about holding someone accountable, partnering together, showing up in this community and working together on true solutions,” Dorsey said. 

Greenberg thanked the council members for their support, saying he was looking forward to a close working relationship with the legislative body.

“Our city will thrive when our mayor and Metro Council work closely together, and we can achieve so much more,” he said.

Craig GreenbergStephanie Wolf | wfpl.org

Craig Greenberg, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for Louisville mayor, at a campaign event in June 2021.

Other Metro Council members rallying behind Greenberg are Donna Purvis of District 5, District 8 representative Cassie Chambers Armstrong, Markus Winkler of District 17, District 21’s Nicole George, and Council President David James, who represents District 6.

James briefly entered the mayoral race more than a year ago, but later dropped out, saying he was facing health problems. Later, James endorsed Greenberg.

Former Metro Council Member Barbara Sexton Smith, who was rumored to be considering a run for mayor, instead announced last June she would chair Greenberg’s election campaign.

Democrat and Pastor Timothy Findley Jr., who’s also vying for the mayoral seat, said the demonstrations of support are just a way for people in power to uphold the status quo. 

“This is another opportunity for the people in Louisville to see that this is a network that has really nothing to do with the bettering of the lives of people, but more so to do with who you know, and what they can do for you,” Findley Jr. told WFPL News. “If you put Craig Greenberg side by side with Mayor [Greg] Fischer, and 99.9% of white male Democrats that are running this country, they all talk the same.”

Findley Jr. said when he first entered the race for mayor, sitting council members told him they didn’t endorse candidates during the primaries. But he said Tuesday’s announcement demonstrated political exclusivity. 

“The playbook that I’ve been handed, and dare I say, the playbook that [candidate] Shameka Parrish-Wright has been handed, is not the playbook that they deal with,” Findley Jr. said. “They give us the participation trophy playbook, but not one that says, ‘We really want change,’ and so we’re coming to rip up that playbook. And we’re coming to bring change to the city.”

Findley Jr. said white Democrats discuss themes like equity, change and creating opportunities for residents as ways to bolster campaigns and sidestep important issues. He added his lived experience coming from a working-class background and commitment to lending residents a platform and voice in decision making are his campaign’s distinguishing factors. 

“[They’re] trying to get to this utopian future without dealing with what got us to a point where we’re so divided. Where our city is so segregated, where the racial wealth gap is so wide,” Findley Jr. said. “I’m not interested in getting to unity first. Unity is a concept that we have overextended. What we have to do first is go back and lift the people who have been on the fringe for so long.”

The primary election is set to take place on May 17.

Yasmine Jumaa is WFPL’s race and equity reporter.