Election 2020: Louisville Metro Council District 2
Buechel, Newburg and Norfolk are three of the main neighborhoods in Metro Council’s District 2, which covers a central portion of the county.
District 2 has historically had a large Black population compared with many other parts of Louisville. Incumbent Democrat Barbara Shanklin, a founding member of the Metro Council, is running for re-election against Republican newcomer Folly Aboussa.
Shanklin was first elected to the seat in 2002, when Metro Council was created as the legislative body for merged city-county government. The Newburg resident is the only council member the district has had. She previously served as council president and vice-chair of the Democratic Caucus. Currently, Shanklin chairs the community affairs, health and education committee and is on the public safety committee. She has a doctorate in education from Spalding University and is retired from General Electric.
In 2013, Shanklin faced a vote by her peers 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.” Although 13 council members voted to remove her, it would have taken 14 to do so. In 2016, she said during a Courier-Journal forum that her current term would be her last. However, she again filed for re-election this year.
Shanklin was endorsed by Greater Louisville Central Labor Council, the Fairness Campaign and Better Schools Kentucky.
Aboussa, an Okolona resident, is 19 years old and a graduate of Seneca High School, he told Ballotpedia. He said he was born in the West African nation of Togo but has spent most of his life in Louisville. In 2019, he was senior class president at Seneca. He told the Courier-Journal in January that he’s a student at Sullivan University.
Aboussa has not previously held nor run for elected office. According to his campaign Facebook page, he is concerned with fighting homelessness through job training, empowering youth and supporting small businesses.
Neither Aboussa nor Shanklin responded to requests to complete WFPL’s candidate questionnaire.