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Meet Louisville Metro Council candidates at forums this week

J. Tyler Franklin

Three seats on Louisville Metro Council are open in the upcoming election. The local League of Women Voters chapter will host a forum for each of the races starting Oct. 10.

The three seats up for grabs were filled by appointment earlier this year after the Metro Council representatives resigned. They include District 8, which covers the Highlands, and District 3, which consists of Shively and Taylor Berry. Residents in Old Louisville, Algonquin and Shelby Park, all in District 6, could also get a new representative.

Dee Pregliasco, President of the League of Women Voters of Louisville, said the forums are an opportunity for voters to hear directly from the candidates. She said it’s important for residents to know who their local representatives are and get involved.

“They’re the people who deal with the police department, the health department, the parks and recreation department, local taxes, all of those things,” she said. “We’re trying to educate people every chance we get about the issues.”

Pregliasco said there will be an opportunity for audience questions at the end of the forum, and she expects each one will be livestreamed for those who can’t make it in-person. The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization, focused on voting rights, education and registration.

The date, time and location of the Metro Council forums are:

  • District 8
    Oct. 10, 6:30 p.m.
    Douglass Boulevard Christian Church
    2005 Douglass Boulevard, Louisville 40205
  • District 3
    Oct. 11, 6:30 p.m.
    Shawnee Library
    3912 West Broadway, Louisville 40211
  • District 6
    Oct. 24, 6:30 p.m.
    Main Library
    301 York Street, Louisville 40203

The candidates

In District 8, Democrat Ben Reno-Weber is facing off against Republican Phil Haming. Reno-Weber was appointed to represent the district in May after Cassie Chambers Armstrong left Metro Council for the state Senate. Since then, Reno-Weber spearheaded efforts to more strictly regulate short-term rentals, like Airbnb, and step up police enforcement in the Bardstown Road area. He’s currently the deputy director of the Health Equity Innovation Hub at the University of Louisville.

Haming is a sales engineer at Haas Factory Outlet, according to his LinkedIn page, and a graduate of Hannibal-LaGrange College. This is his first time running for Metro Council.

Democrat and former mayoral candidate Shameka Parrish-Wright will compete with Independent Gibran Crook for the District 3 seat. Neither candidate was appointed to replace Keisha Dorsey, who resigned from Metro Council earlier this year for a position in Mayor Craig Greenberg’s administration. Kumar Rashad has represented the district since February, but he lost a contentious nomination process to Parrish-Wright.

Parrish-Wright is a long-time progressive activist who currently serves as the director of VOCAL-KY, a group focused on ending mass incarceration, homelessness and the War on Drugs. She told LPM News in May she wants to focus on similar issues if elected, while also keeping up with smaller endeavors, like making sure streets are clean and neighborhoods feel inviting.

Crook is a youth basketball coach and tournament director. He ran against Dorsey last year in the Democratic primary, but lost by about 3,000 votes.

In District 6, Democrat Philip Baker is vying to keep the Metro Council seat he was appointed to in February. The seat became vacant after former Council President David James became one of Greenberg’s deputy mayors.

Baker is a family resource coordinator for Jefferson County Public Schools. He’s currently co-sponsoring an ordinance aimed at preventing displacement of residents in historically Black neighborhoods undergoing gentrification.

Baker is being challenged by Republican Judy Martin Stallard, a 21-year-resident of Old Louisville. On her campaign’s official Facebook page, Stallard said she wants to bring infrastructure improvements to Old Louisville and Central Park, as well as direct more city funding to groups focused on reducing gun violence. Stallard was roundly defeated by Keturah Herron in the District 42 Kentucky House of Representatives election last year.

All three districts have been held by Democrats since Louisville’s 2003 city-county merger, which created the 26-member Metro Council. The special elections will take place on Nov. 7.

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

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