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One Day In, A Primary Ahead For New Metro Councilman

Pat Mulvihill
J. Tyler Franklin
Pat Mulvihill

Democrat Pat Mulvihill began his first day as a member of the Louisville Metro Council on Monday.

The District 10 representative serves a wide swath of neighborhoods, including parts of the Highlands, Germantown, Camp Taylor and Buechel. Democrat Steve Magre, who was appointed following the death of council president Jim King last winter, vacated the seat.

After winning last Tuesday's special election, Mulvihill became the third person to represent District 10 on the council in less than a year.

The transition from Magre to Mulvihill could be a little awkward, though. That's because Magre says he'll be running for the District 10 seat next year. In all likelihood, Magre and Mulvihill will be competing against each other in May's primary.

“I am going to be taking him on in a couple of months,” Magre told WFPL News. “We certainly have different philosophies, different backgrounds and a different approach to doing the job in the end."

King’s original term is set to expire in 2016. Magre said he would have liked the opportunity to run for the seat in the special election, too. But the local party blocked him and chose Mulvihill instead.

“I won the appointment, and I wasn’t really provided the opportunity — there was no primary,” he said. “I couldn’t run for the office to get votes from the Democrat. The party bypassed me.”

Despite the weirdness, however, Magre said he would do what he can to be helpful in the transition. “I don’t want to sound as if I am trying to generate conflict,” he said.

Mulvihill defeated Republican Bob Redman, the former Male High School football coach, in Tuesday's special election. In an otherwise negative statewide campaign landscape, that race was characterized by its civility. Mulvihill said he hopes the primary in May is cordial, too.

“I hope that if we do run against each other, that it will be a clean-run campaign,” he said. “That’s at least my intention.”

Magre spearheaded key district issues during his several months on the council. Most notably, he led an effort to amend the city’s public nuisance code to address ongoing problems with the Economy Inn and other motels. The council approved that ordinance a few weeks ago.

In an effort to support victims of flooding, Magre also cosponsored an ordinance that changed a previous city rule prohibiting a homeowner from repairing a house that had sustained damages totaling more than 50 percent of its assessed value over a 10-year period. The change helped various homeowners who were unable to repair their homes following devastating floods earlier this year.

Mulvihill said he expects the transition to be smooth, largely because he is currently working with Magre's staff.

“The transition is made a lot smoother because they were aware of all of the issues and can update me and give me the information — budgetary information and where commitments have been made,” Mulvihill said.

Mulvihill was sworn in on Saturday.

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