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Ky. Rep. Lamin Swann dies following hospitalization

Ky. Rep. Lamin
LRC Public Information
Democratic state Rep. Lamin Swann of Lexington asks a question on the House Floor during the 2023 General Assembly session.

Democratic state Rep. Lamin Swann of Lexington died Sunday following a medical emergency last week, according to his family.

In a statement, Swann’s mother, Pamela Dixon, said she was struggling to describe “the grief and impossible loss” she experienced “after saying good-bye earlier today.”

“Beyond our faith, what comforts us is knowing the positive and lasting impact he had on so many,” Dixon said. “Those include his loved ones and friends; those he advocated for throughout his life; and, now, those whose own lives will forever be strengthened by his decision to be an organ donor.”

Swann was hospitalized last Wednesday due to an undisclosed medical emergency.

Swann was elected to House District 93, located in southern Fayette County, in 2022. The 45-year-old won a competitive race last year in the newly formed district, beating Republican Kyle Whalen by eight percentage points.

During his first legislative session, Swann proposed a bill to eliminate housing discrimination against people using Section 8 vouchers. He also co-sponsored a bill to get rid of the state holiday celebrating Robert. E Lee, but neither passed the Republican-controlled state legislature.

In a statement, Swann’s Democratic colleagues in the House called him a strong advocate for social justice and disability rights. He was open about his own challenges with cerebral palsy.

“Lamin was a great friend, and our caucus is better for having known and worked alongside him,” House Democratic Caucus leaders said. “He served his constituents as well as anyone ever has.”

Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear said his heart was heavy after hearing news of Swann’s death.

“Lamin was always smiling, leading with kindness while working to build a better Kentucky for all. He will be greatly missed. Please join Britainy and me in praying for his family,” Beshear wrote on Twitter.

House Speaker David Osborne, a Republican, also issued a statement Sunday calling Swann a “dedicated public servant."

“While his time in the House has been cut short, Lamin had already established himself as a passionate advocate for his district as well as a voice for those who live with disabilities. He had many friends among our colleagues and served as a positive force in countless discussions. His loss will be felt by all who served with him,” Osborne said.

Swann was a graduate of University of Kentucky who spent much of his adult life focused on activism and design, according to his campaign website. He was the founder and creative director of L.PIERRE, a boutique women’s fashion brand. He previously worked for Strengthening Kentucky’s (SKY) Families as a parent and family liaison in Fayette County Family Court, advocating for parents in the family reunification process.

Swann’s family says funeral arrangements will be announced in the coming days.

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

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