In the seven-year history of the Louisville Metro Council, no elected incumbent has ever lost a bid for re-election. This year, there are nine contested races, seven of which are between elected incumbents and challengers.
Among the most-watched races is the contest between 25th District incumbent Republican Doug Hawkins and Democratic challenger David Yates. Yates has recently accused Hawkins of using an automatic phone dialer for negative campaigning, but the two-term councilman denies the allegation.
Elsewhere, elected incumbents in the 5th, 9th, 13th, 15th, 17th and 23rd districts are facing challenges. One candidate from each major party is running in the 19th District. That seat is being left vacant by Republican Hal Heiner, who is running for mayor.
The most crowded race is in the Sixth District, where none of the candidates were chosen to run by voters and one is not on the ballot.
The Sixth District contest is a special election. The winner will serve the remaining two years of late Councilman George Unseld’s term. There are four candidates in the running. The incumbent is Independent Deonte Hollowell, who was appointed by the council after Unseld’s death. Later, Democratic Party officials chose former Fraternal Order of Police president David James as their candidate for the special election. Shortly afterward, county GOP leadership nominated advertising professional Candace Jaworski.
Not listed on the ballot is Democrat Ken Herndon. Herndon sought the seat in 2008, but lost his party’s primary to Unseld. He lost the council’s appointment vote to Hollowell, then was overlooked for the Democratic nomination. Herndon is running a write-in campaign and is hoping his popularity in parts of the district will help him overcome the disadvantage of not appearing on the ballot.