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Louisville funeral director jumping into the race for mayor

Anthony Oxendine, funeral director and owner of Spring Valley Funeral Home, announced this week he is running for Louisville mayor.
Courtesy of Anthony Oxendine
Anthony Oxendine, funeral director and owner of Spring Valley Funeral Home, announced this week he is running for Louisville mayor.

Anthony Oxendine, a Louisville funeral home director, announced this week he’s running for the Democratic nomination for mayor.

Oxendine owns Spring Valley Funeral Home, which has a location in Louisville and another in New Albany. He previously ran an unsuccessful race to be Floyd County Coroner. In an interview with WFPL News, Oxendine said he wants voters to know that he is “just a sinner saved by grace, trying to do God’s will.”

He said he decided to run for mayor because he’s worked with too many families that have lost loved ones to gun violence, and that his first act as mayor would be to fire Louisville Metro Police Chief Erika Shields.

“I don’t appreciate that we are losing officers who are not wanting to work here because of her actions,” he said. “I don’t see anything that she’s done to slow the violence down. She has meetings after meetings, and meetings after meetings is useless because there’s no action behind the meeting.”

In addition to restructuring the Louisville Metro Police Department, Oxendine said he thinks the officers deserve raises. He also wants to help the city’s homeless population and put the Ten Commandments on the walls of all Jefferson County Public Schools.

Oxendine said he’s never held public office and said his message to voters is: “If they want a politician, then don’t vote for me.”

“It’s time for a common person that’s not a politician to take a hold of the reins of the city and steer it into a different direction,” he said. “My goal is to take this city that has been pretty much burned down and rebuild it within its ashes.”

The father of two joins a crowded Democratic field vying to replace Mayor Greg Fischer, also a Democrat, who is term-limited. It will be the first time in more than a decade that Fischer’s name won’t appear on the ballot. 

A number of candidates have already brought in significant funding ahead of next spring’s primary. 

The most recent campaign finance reports showed Democratic candidate Craig Greenberg, the former CEO of 21c Museum Hotels, leading the field in fundraising. Since announcing his run in April, he’s amassed more than $800,000 in donations. Jefferson County Circuit Court Clerk David Nicholson, a Democrat, has raised roughly $210,000. 

Activist Shameka Parrish-Wright, Reverend Timothy Findley, Jr., and businesswoman Carla Dearing are also running for the Democratic nomination.

On the Republican side, Jeffersontown Mayor Bill Deiruf has far outraised his only opponent, pastor Philip Molestina. Dieruf announced his run for Louisville mayor in June and has so far racked up more than $218,000 in donations. Molestina has raised $11,250 since announcing his bid in May, including a $10,000 loan from himself.

The Republican and Democratic primaries will take place on May 17, 2022.

Roberto Roldan is the City Politics and Government Reporter for WFPL. Email Roberto at rroldan@lpm.org.

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