LEO’s Election Guide For 2024

Here is a breakdown of the candidates to keep an eye on for this year’s primary

May 17, 2024 at 4:01 pm
Get your list of candidates to watch during the primary election
Get your list of candidates to watch during the primary election Adobe Stock

With election season in full swing in Louisville, voters will cast their ballots for the primary elections ahead of the General Election in November this year. The 2024 Primary is set for Tuesday, May 21, but no-excuse early voting is available until Saturday, May 18.

At the top of the ticket, the Republican and Democratic presidential primaries will hold the spot. However, Former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden are potentially locked in as the remaining candidates, with a rematch of the 2020 election heading into this November's General Election.

At the U.S. representative level, Louisville is looking at another race with incumbent Morgan McGarvey in the running against new opponents for the Democratic primary, those being Jared Randall, a community activist who stated on Ballotpedia he wants to increase the TARC tax, which has not been raised since 1974. He also stated he would like to advocate for increased tourism.

Geoff M. Young, who currently works as a political activist, stated he would advocate heavily against support for military action in other countries, including arms dealing to countries like Israel. He stated on Ballotpedia, "Wars and excessive preparations for war are making us poor and weakening our national security."

The Republican primary election is not as tightly contested this year, with only two candidates vying for the opposing party to the incumbent, those being Mike Craven, a supporter of term limits on the House of Representatives, and Denny Ormerod, who only raised $8,100 total during his campaign for governor last year.

Right now, there are several districts across Jefferson County that only have one candidate on the ballot, including the 10th and 26th Districts, while others have as many as 11 vying for the same position.

Metro Council’s 4th District, which represents neighborhoods like Smoketown, California and Portland, includes 11 Democratic candidates that have filed for this year’s primary election after Democrat-turned-Independent Jecorey Arthur announced he would not run for re-election last October. Those candidates include:

  • Ken Herndon
  • Dennisha Rivers
  • Stan Moore
  • Mary K. Hall
  • Demetrius M. McDowell
  • Dino Johnson
  • Joseph “Jody” Dahmer
  • Bobbie James
  • Bridgett Smith
  • Joshua Alexander Crowder
  • Carol Clark

Ken Herndon — has endorsements from three sitting council members including Tammy Hawkins, Andrew Owen and Brent Ackerson, also has received money from the Fairness Campaign PAC, which he co-founded to advocate for civil rights for LGBTQ+ Kentuckians — has raised close to $43,000 during his campaign and is one of the highest-dollar campaigns out of the bunch.

Stan Moore — has raised the most money out of the pack at $69,000 for his campaign — is a business owner in Louisville that also holds the board presidency for the Jeffersonville Community Kitchen and chair for the Louisville Downtown Management District. According to Moore’s website, his top priorities heading into this election include public safety, affordable housing and finding solutions to food deserts in Louisville.

Another notable candidate for District 4 is Mary K. Hall, who is a community organizer living in the California neighborhood. Her site states that her main priority is for others to not “overlook District 4.” She has led efforts for policy change at Jefferson County Land Bank to allow for descendants to buy back land taken by the city at little cost after reclaiming her family’s home in the neighborhood.

Dennisha Rivers is currently the president of Vision Of Life Outreach Ministries, which is a nonprofit organization that helps homeless people in Louisville obtain life skills training, financial literacy and transitional housing. On her Facebook, Rivers states her top priorities include community collaboration from residents, community organizations and law enforcement to curb violence in the city. She also stated she wants to see “working cameras and lighting to make downtown safer.”

All candidates for District 4 in Jefferson County were Democratic, with no Republican candidates in the mix this primary election. Whoever wins the Democratic primary will represent District 4 until 2028 when primary elections start again.

There are seven districts that will see what many would call a “normal” general election later in November, with one Democrat against one Republican later this year. Those include Districts 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22 and 24. Every other election in this year's primary will make them the de-facto winner of the General Election in November.

District 12 has the most Republicans in the running for the nomination heading into November. Those include Jonathan “JJ” Joseph, Ryan Thompson and Jennifer Fox Brown. One of them will face the lone Democrat Rick Blackwell — who is set to win by default this primary election — in November.

Joseph, a teacher at Butler Traditional High School, has his priorities set on strengthening South End schools in Louisville and addressing crime in the city’s southwest.

Fox Brown’s primary concerns include improving public safety through law enforcement by targeting illegal drug solicitation and drug addiction throughout District 12.

In District 14, Republicans Crystal Bast and Crystal Ann Barajas are locked into the race for the nomination this election while the Democratic primary has three candidates vying for the spot: Neal A. Robertson, Autumn Lockhard and Cindi Fowler.

Republican Bast, a gun rights advocate according to her site, says her priority is to “restore southwest Louisville and fight for investment and change.” She stated on her site that her goals include expanding funds for law enforcement and public schools while opposing increased taxes and city government powers.

Ann Barajas, a community outreach manager at BrightView — which is an addiction treatment center in Louisville — stated on her website she wanted to “remove stigmas” around drug use and respond to the shortage of shelter beds for homeless Louisvillians. Other priorities on her site include increasing investments for police, teachers and school crossing guards.

Democrat Robertson is a community activist that leads the West Louisville Urban Coalition and has advocated for the defunding Louisville’s police department. He was sued by Glenmary Homeowners Association in 2021 for allegedly coercing the group into purchasing vacant properties. However, the lawsuit was dismissed in 2023.

Fowler has been District 14’s representative since 2013, and stated she is working with Louisville’s police department to address nuisances from ATVs and dirt bike racers. Fowler stated she also wants to add cameras and increase lighting to Dixie Highway to help police while preventing crashes at intersections on the road.

District 16 locks in the candidates for their matchup in November, those include Republican Scott W. Reed and Democrat Matthew Golden. It is the only election where both party candidates will win their respective nominations by default this election heading to the General Election.

All other districts in Jefferson County have only Democratic candidates, meaning the turnout of those elections will decide who runs those districts until next election season.