The Louisville Metro Council Wednesday night elected a successor to late Councilman George Unseld.
The body had ten candidates to choose from, and voted 33 times without any one person receiving the minimum 13 votes to fill the 6th District seat. Most of the votes were torn between Ken Herndon, who narrowly lost a primary race against Unseld in 2008 and Neeka Parks Thompson, an attorney who used to work in state government.
After an hour-long recess, council members compromised and voted 17 to 7 for Dr. Deonte Hollowell, a professor of Pan-African studies at U of L.
Hollowell is a registered independent–the first-ever on the council. He says he has no plans to change his affiliation before the special election for the seat in November.
“I plan to make that decision, but at this point I’m definitely sticking with independent,” he says.
The county Democratic and Republican parties will choose candidates to run in November, and the winner will serve the remaining two years of Unseld’s term.
Councilman Jim King–who voted several times for Herndon, then for Hollowell–thinks Hollowell’s tenure on the council will be brief.
“He can certainly file for election this fall as an independent, but I believe that the Democratic Party will pick a candidate who will prevail in the fall,” he says.
Herndon says he may consider seeking the nomination in November.
“I’ll think about that, but that’s going to be in another ten days or so,” he says. “I’ll make that decision shortly, but I’ve already filed the papers to run for 2012, and I will do so.”
Thompson also says she will consider seeking the party’s nomination.