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Kentucky Primary 2020: Louisville Metro Council District 2

Louisville's Metro Council District 2 covers a central portion of Jefferson County that includes the neighborhoods of Buechel, Newburg and Norfolk. It has historically had a large Black population, relative to other parts of the county.

The Democratic candidates in this race are incumbent Barbara Shanklin, Caroline Grundy, RaeShanda Lias-Lockhart and Curtis Wilkerson. Whichever of these four wins will face the only Republican candidate, Folly Abboussa, in the November general election.

Shanklin was a founding member of the Metro Council, which began in 2003 to serve as the legislative body for the merged city-county government. The District has never elected anyone else. She was endorsed by the Greater Louisville Central Labor Council and the Fairness Campaign’s political action committee.

In her time on the council, Shanklin has served in leadership positions including president of the body and chair and vice chair of the Democratic Party. This year, she is chair of the community affairs, health and education committee. She also serves on the public safety committee. She has a doctorate in education from Spalding University and is retired from General Electric.

Shanklin has sponsored many pieces of legislation to appropriate funds for organizations such as the Americana Community Center and Kentucky Shakespeare. In 2013, Shanklin survived a vote over whether to remove her from the council over allegations that she “showed misconduct or willful neglect by her involvement in an ex-offender program she helped set up and by directing public funds to a neighborhood group she was involved with.”

Shanklin previously pledged that her current term would be her last, according to a Courier Journal report from 2016.

Grundy is running to challenge Shanklin for the second time in a row.

Online records show she is a director of the nonprofit Shekinah Community Development Partners, which aims to support and conduct services to “develop human self-sufficiency to combat poverty.”

Grundy’s main issues include pushing for access to housing, “life-sustaining” wages and education for all District 2 residents, according to her website.

Lias-Lockhart is a small business owner and U.S. Army veteran. She runs a boutique called All’s Fair in Love and Fashion, and typically hosts charitable fashion shows every year. Lias-Lockharttold the Courier Journal last year her goal for her business is to “educate, edify and empower through fashion and beauty.”

She was a member of the Emerge Kentucky program, which trains women to run for office as Democrats, in 2018. Her story of going from being a teen mom to a solider, and from homeless to a business-owner has been covered in several publications including Louisville Business First, whichput her on its annual 40 Under 40 list two years ago, and Queer Kentucky.

On her website, Lias-Lockhart said she would push for small business investment, increased home ownership and more community events in District 2.

There was no information available on Wilkerson, and he didn't respond to messages, emails and phone calls.

These candidates did not respond to requests to fill out a questionnaire from WFPL.

Amina Elahi is LPM's City Editor. Email Amina at aelahi@lpm.org.