Former Louisville mayoral candidate Chris Thieneman has filed as a Republican candidate for the 37th District state Senate seat, but he could face a close political ally in the GOP primary.
The local developer has been a perennial candidate for years, vying unsuccessfully for mayor, county clerk and Congress. But Thieneman has become a popular activist over the years after first gaining notoriety as a leader of the opposition to the proposed library tax in 2007.
Thieneman says being a critic of Metro Government and working on legislation from outside state government has given him a perspective that he needs to make a difference at the state level.
“Everything that Louisville is comes out of Frankfort, so I want to help Louisville, my home town, my end of town that we’ve always felt has been neglected. And they know I have a strong voice and their best interest at heart. So I feel really good about this race,” he says.
The 37th District Senate seat is currently held by Democrat Perry Clark, however, the General Assembly’s controversial redistricting plan drew him out of the area leaving it vacant for this year’s election.
There is growing speculation that former Metro Councilman Doug Hawkins, who ran against Clark four years ago, may file as a GOP candidate as well.
Hawkins says he hasn’t decided on running, but promises that if he does it will be a spirited primary race between the two political allies.
“Chris is a good guy, he’s got a lot of good ideas. We certainly have a lot of similar stances,” he says. “But I’ve got experience in office and have been in office eight years and I have a constituent base to work from. So I would think I would have an advantaged there. If Chris or I were run against each other, I think the district would win one way or another.”
Asked about his friends comment, Thieneman dimissed Hawkins’ previous experience as a city lawmaker, calling it irrelevant and adding that unlike the former councilman, he is more flexible and can work with Democrats.