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Keturah Herron wins special election for Louisville-area House seat

Keturah Herron

Activist and social justice advocate Keturah Herron won a special election for a Louisville-area seat in the Kentucky House of Representatives on Tuesday.

Herron, a Democrat and former lobbyist and strategist for the American Civil Liberties Union, is the first out LGBTQ person elected to the House.

She will represent House District 42, which includes a strip of Louisville that extends from Rubbertown in the west to Crescent Hill in the east.

Herron defeated Republican Judy Martin Stallard, who worked in the steel industry for 37 years and has run unsuccessfully for the seat before. Herron won in a landslide. According to the unofficial tally Tuesday night, she garnered 1,950 votes to Stallard’s 119.

The seat was vacated after the retirement of longtime Democratic Rep. Reginald Meeks, who stepped down late last year to focus on his health and family.

Once Herron is sworn in, Democrats will have 25 seats in the 100-member House. Republicans control 75 seats, a high-water mark for the party.

The only other openly LGBTQ legislator in state history was former Sen. Ernesto Scorsone, who came out in 2003 and currently serves as a circuit judge in Fayette County.

Herron helped draft and pass Louisville’s ordinance banning no-knock warrants in 2020, following the police killing of Breonna Taylor.

During an interview in December, she said the experience compelled her to run.

“When the people start calling you and telling you to run, you have to pay attention to that,” Herron said.

Copyright 2022 89.3 WFPL News Louisville. To see more, visit 89.3 WFPL News Louisville.

Ryland Barton is the Managing Editor for Collaboratives for Kentucky Public Radio, a group of public radio stations including WKMS, WFPL in Louisville, WEKU in Richmond and WKYU in Bowling Green. A native of Lexington, Ryland most recently served as the Capitol Reporter for Kentucky Public Radio. He has covered politics and state government for NPR member stations KWBU in Waco and KUT in Austin.
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