Categories
Local News Next Louisville

Tennis Complex Named For Unseld, McAnulty

By Sheila Ash

The Justice William E. McAnulty, Jr. Tennis Center and George Unseld Courts were formally opened today in Old Louisville’s Central Park. Unseld spearheaded the effort to improve the park’s tennis courts.

Jeanie Unseld says her father would be pleased with how the project turned out.

“My father looked so forward to this day. He used to sit on a bench over there with his crazy dog and a cigar and speak to any and everyone about what’s happening in this area,” she said.

Unseld served as 6th District Metro Councilman from 2002 until his death in June.

McAnulty, who died in 2007, was Kentucky’s first African American Supreme Court Justice, as well as a former Jefferson Court District Judge.

The complex’s improvements include timed lighting, stadium seating for 100 people and new landscaping.

Categories
In-Depth News Local News Next Louisville WFPL News Department Podcast

In Depth: Four Vying For Sixth District Council Seat

When Louisville Metro Councilman George Unseld died in June, a special election was ordered to elect someone to fill the remaining two years of his term.

Four candidates are actively campaigning for the seat, and they all face a tough fight for what may be the busiest job on the Metro Council.

Audio MP3

The first sign that the 6th District seat be would hotly contested came in June, when the Metro Council took several contentious hours to appoint independent Deonte Hollowell to serve until the special election. Hollowell, like Unseld, is African-American. At that meeting, NAACP President Raoul Cunningham and others implored the council to preserve its racial makeup.

“It was very important to us, because, if you’ll recall, the proponents of merger assured the African-American community there would be six districts of the 26,” he says.

While Cunningham did not want the council to change its racial balance, he says voters could do just that. After all, the person they elect will represent one of the most racially and economically diverse districts in the city.

“You have diversity in neighborhoods there, going through probably one of the high-end districts in Old Louisville to California to Park Hill,” says Cunningham.

There are four candidates vying to represent that collection of neighborhoods. The first to declare his candidacy was Unseld’s council-appointed successor Deonte Hollowell. Because he’s an independent, Holowell will face two major party candidates.

The Democratic Party has nominated another African-American, former Fraternal Order of Police president David James. Advertising professional Candace Jaworksi is the Republican nominee. But Democrat Ken Herndon is running a write-in campaign. He narrowly lost to Unseld in the 2008 primary, which was marred by an anti-gay flier that took aim at Herndon, who’s openly gay. Herndon also narrowly lost the council’s appointment and was overlooked for his party’s nomination weeks later.

Herdon’s yard signs are already lining streets in Old Louisville. That’s where I met real estate agent Deborah Stewart.

“George lived down here,” says Stewart. “He lived right over on Park Avenue, just across from the tennis courts.”

As we sit in St. James Court, Stewart outlines the issues that resonate most with her and her neighbors. She says preservation, cracking down on absentee landlords and bringing in the right businesses are all key. And the next councilmember will need to be ready to listen to those concerns from Old Louisville residents.

“They don’t want someone who is passive. They want someone who they can call and say, ‘This is going on in my neck of the woods, it concerns me, what can you do about it?'” says Stewart. “They want their concerns addressed.”

Stuart says she thinks the race will come down to Hollowell and Herndon. Hollowell has a brief voting record to run on, but he doesn’t have a major party machine behind him. Neither does Herndon, who has won endorsements from four council members, but must remind voters to write his name onto the ballot.

Haven Harrington writes a blog about the Russell neighborhood, part of which is in the district. Harrington lives north of the district himself, but has been involved in local politics. He says Democratic nominee David James shouldn’t be underestimated, given the high number of registered Democrats in the district, and James’s law enforcement experience.

Harrington agrees with Deborah Stewart’s comments that the new council member will have unique issues to address. But the issues in the western half of the district are different than those in Old Louisville.

“How are you going to address predatory lending and these other factors that tend to affect poorer neighborhoods versus your wealthy neighborhoods,” says Harrington.

Harrington says solutions to the issues are nuanced, and the diversity will have to be addressed through footwork. That means listening to the outspoken residents and neighborhood groups, and reaching out to everyone else.

“More work. [Laughs]. It’s just going to be more work,” says Harrington. “They’re going to have to have several different meetings.”

Categories
Local News

Meeting To Be Held On Making First And Brook Streets Two-Way

A meeting will be held Monday evening in Old Louisville to discuss changing First and Brook Streets from one-way to two-way. It’s an issue that has been discussed before.

Councilman George Unseld explored the idea of changing traffic flow on the streets last year. Unseld died in June, and his successor Deonte Hollowell is picking up the issue.

In a statement, Hollowell said he wants to review Unseld’s research and hear from residents, business and the University of Louisville, all of which would be affected by changes to the traffic plan.

The meeting will be held at 6pm at Memorial Auditorium on 4th Street.

Categories
Local News Next Louisville

Herndon Launches Write-In Campaign For 6th District Seat

Another candidate has entered the 6th District Metro Council race in Louisville. Democrat Ken Herndon has launched a write-in campaign for the seat formerly held by the late George Unseld.

Herndon has long sought election to the seat. He narrowly lost the Democratic primary to Unseld in 2008. He sought appointment to the council after Unseld’s death, but the council chose independent Deonte Hollowell instead. Herndon then applied for his party’s nomination in the special election for the rest of Unseld’s term, but lost to David James.

Hollowell, James and GOP nominee Candace Jaworski will all appear on the ballot in November. Herndon’s will not. But he says he can run a strong write-in campaign.

“We have three people who are virtual unknowns who were placed in those positions by people who did not live in the district and I have a recent history where I nearly won the seat two years ago.”

Herndon says the Democratic Party’s nomination process was secretive and unfair. Party chair Tim Longmeyer says the party chose the right candidate.

“The members of the executive committee who all represent that district took into account, really, the long history of the district, the feelings of their constituents in the district, their own opinions as people who live in and around the district,” he says.

Categories
Local News Next Louisville

County GOP To Choose 6th District Nominee After Further Deliberation

The Jefferson County Republican Party has postponed its nomination of a candidate to run in a special Metro Council election, and will take a few more days to choose a nominee for the 6th District seat.

The winner of the special election will serve the remaining two years of the late Councilman George Unseld’s term.

The GOP was supposed to choose a nominee for the race on Tuesday, but held off on the selection in order to review candidates who submitted their applications at the last minute. The party has until next Tuesday to register a candidate, and will vote on a nominee either later this week or next Monday.

The county Democratic Party last week nominated former Fraternal Order of Police president David James.

The seat is currently held by independent Deonte Hollowell, who was appointed after Unseld’s death in June. Hollowell is also seeking election to the seat.

Categories
Local News

Democrats Select James for Sixth District Metro Council Election

The Jefferson County Democratic Party has selected its candidate for the special election in the 6th Metro Council District.

The election will determine who will serve the remaining two years of Councilman George Unseld’s term. Unseld died last month and the council appointed independent Deonte Hollowell to fill the seat.

Hollowell is seeking election to the seat, and both major parties are allowed to select candidates as well. Last night, the Democratic Party chose former Fraternal Order of Police president David James as their nominee.

James’s nomination came after two rounds of voting in which no candidate won the necessary support. The nomination was determined by a nine-member panel, with each member representing a piece of the 6th District. Members’ votes were weighted, depending on the number of voters they represented.

James was previously an advisor to Councilman Jim King’s campaign for mayor. He will be vetted before his candidacy is made official. Candidates must file with the County Clerk by August 11th.

The county Republican Party will meet to choose a candidate next Tuesday.

Categories
Local News Next Louisville

Hollowell To Seek 6th District Seat In Special Election

Independent Metro Councilmember Deonte Hollowell will file his paperwork Wednesday to run for the seat he was appointed to last month. Hollowell will be the first person to declare his candidacy in the race.

The Metro Council appointed Hollowell to the 6th District seat after Councilman George Unseld’s death. A special election for the seat will be held in November, and the winner will serve the remaining two years of Unseld’s term.

Hollowell is the first independent to serve on the council and will face challengers from both major parties. The Jefferson County Democratic Party will choose a candidate to run on Thursday. The county GOP has not chosen a date to pick its candidate, but is expected to do so soon.

The parties have until August 11th to file their candidates.

Categories
Local News Next Louisville

Parties Considering Nominees For 6th District Election

The local Democratic and Republican parties will soon nominate candidates to run for the 6th District Metro Council seat previously held by the late George Unseld.

The  seat is now held by Deonte Hollowell, an independent who was appointed by the council after Unseld’s death. There will be a special election for the seat in November, and the major parties have until August 10th to choose nominees.

The Democratic Party is accepting applications through Saturday. Chairman Tim Longmeyer says candidate interviews will begin soon, and a committee of nine party officials will vote on a nominee on the 29th.

“There are three legislative districts that comprise Metro District 6 and each of those legislative districts has three members,” he says.

Any Democrats who applied to be appointed by the council will automatically be considered, and Longmeyer says he’s not sure who else would pursue the seat.

“Really, no preconceived notion,” he says. “On one hand, you would think most of the individuals who were interested probably would have applied to the Metro Council, so we really don’t know how many additional to expect.”

Among the previous applicants who will be considered are Ken Herndon and Neeka Parks Thompson, who each almost received enough votes to be appointed. The county GOP will vote on a nominee this month. Hollowell has said he’s interested in running in the special election, too.

Categories
Local News Next Louisville

Hollowell Wins 6th District Council Seat

Photo courtesy Steve Haagby Gabe Bullard

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.

Categories
Local News Next Louisville

Council To Vote Wednesday On Sixth District Seat

by Gabe Bullard

Louisville’s 6th District will have a new Metro Council representative this week.

Tuesday the council will interview the eleven qualified candidates who have filed to replace Councilman George Unseld, who died earlier this month.

The council will nominate and vote on a successor Wednesday. Majority caucus spokesperson Tony Hyatt says councilmembers will likely talk after the interviews and narrow down the list of candidates to two or three nominees.

“I think you’re going to see a lot of people who will be doing some discussion after Tuesday and by the time we get to Wednesday, those people who feel that this person or that person is the strongest candidate will be doing their efforts to try to get the rest of the caucus to go along,” he says.

The winning candidate must receive 13 votes. The council will vote until a successor is chosen. It’s expected the winner will be—like Unseld—a Democrat, and a minority caucus spokesperson says Republican council members will likely support a candidate who shares Unseld’s bipartisanship.