Democrats select James for 6th District race

After four hours of mostly closed-door deliberations, a Jefferson County Democratic Party executive committee selected former Fraternal Order of Police president David James as the tentative candidate to run for the 6th District Metro Council seat in the general election.

Last month, the seat that was declared vacant after the sudden death of George Unseld. It is currently held by University of Louisville professor Deonte Hollowell, a registered independent, who was appointed by the council on June 30.

After several hours of gridlock, the council compromised with Hollowell, but that did not please Democratic party officials, who believe the council should have fulfilled its promise to keep the seat in the party fold.

James is a 49-year-old registered Democrat, and currently serves as a lieutenant with the University of Louisville campus police department. The former Louisville Metro Police officer had previously applied to fill the seat in June, but was declared ineligible after the Jefferson County Attorney’s office found he had not lived in the district long enough.

In an interview with LEO Weekly, James told the newspaper he has lived in the district since August 3, 2009 and believes his residency isn’t a concern going forward. After James was selected, however, Democratic Party chairman Tim Longmeyer told the committee their nominee will be vetted before being put on the ballot.

There is speculation that if James’ residency is in question, a lawsuit could be filed disqualifying him from running this fall. In order to run on November 2, all candidates must file with the Jefferson County Clerk’s office by August 10.

During the meeting, which was held in executive session during most of the evening, party officials also interviewed and considered nominating other candidates including former council candidate Ken Herndon, who narrowly lost a primary race to Unseld in 2008, attorney Neeka Parks-Thompson, a former state government employee, attorney Keith Hunter, a close friend of Unseld’s and 25-year-old Phillip Baker, an insurance salesman, who almost received the nomination in the first two votes the committee took.

Earlier this week, Hollowell filed his paperwork to seek election to the seat as an independent. The Jefferson County Republican Party will meet next Tuesday to choose a candidate.

13 Comments

  1. Gracie
    Posted July 30, 2010 at 1:50 am | Permalink

    David has an opinion from Walt Kato that represented board of elections for over 20 years. In Walts opinion it states that David is able to get the nomination. All 9 voters and Tim Longmeyer has a copy of this opinion. David won the majority vote and we should all get behind him in November.

  2. J
    Posted July 30, 2010 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    I am not getting behind Mr. James. I live in the 6th District. This registered Democrat will vote for the Republican candidate.

  3. gracie
    Posted July 30, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Dear J,
    Obviously you do not know David James and his long history of helping local and state democrats. It is a shame that you would chance losing this seat to a republican than take the time to meet David and talk to him.

  4. James
    Posted July 31, 2010 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Why would you not vote for Mr. Hollowell rather than the Republican?

  5. gracie
    Posted July 31, 2010 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Mr. Howell is not a strong candidate. He was asked how he will run and he replied..”i dont know if i will run as a democrat or Independent” Well, Mr. Howell has no choice to run as an independent. I think knowing what party you are is pretty important to start. That district is mostly democrats and people will not vote for him. His family and friends might, but other than that he will not have any support. He is an okay guy, but he is not the man for the job.

  6. JTT
    Posted July 31, 2010 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    OK, the law says one year, he wasn’t eligible in June but he is eligible now, right?

  7. gracie
    Posted July 31, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    I am not an atty, however it was explained to me is like this..
    **The appointment is one year from the time of the appointment. (because of when George died)
    **On a nomination it is one year from the election date.
    An Atty that represented the board of elections for over 20 years gave an opinion that David James was in deed eligible. It was then sent to the president of the democrat party then their attys agreed with the opinion.

  8. J
    Posted August 2, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Mr. James has been cited by several local news outlets as being a past supporter for Jim King. Indeed, it was mentioned in several local news stories that Jim King was throwing his support behind Mr. James. The LAST thing the 6th District needs is a person politically beholden to Jim King. Also, I don’t care if Mr. James has a long history of helping local and state democrats, my vote will go to the candidate that has a long history of helping the 6th district (and not just as a police officer – who is paid to do so). Dr. Hollowell and Mr. James do not meet my criteria – hopefully the Republican candidate will.

  9. gracie
    Posted August 2, 2010 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Dear J,
    all this boils down to is that your friend did not get the nomination. You are willing to let the district suffer and more innocent people get attacked, mugged and have their children have to look at the drug dealers and prostitutes on the corner of 3rd and Oak Street. I dont want to be scared to walk my dog..we need to remove these bad people out of our neighborhood. It is so sad that you are more worried about someones ego rather than the people of the 6th district. All i can say is thank God that you are not the majority.

  10. J
    Posted August 3, 2010 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Gracie, We do not live in the same district – I am not afraid of to walk around. Also, I was willing to support Keith Hunter, Ken Herndon, and Phillip Baker. Neither of those men were nominated – Jim King’s political ally was. Also, you may want to reconsider who is in the majority – I have heard overwhelming support for Dr. Hollowell from many registered Democrats. I will not post again as it is clear that a realistic view that is opposed to your political ambitions is not welcome.

  11. gracie
    Posted August 3, 2010 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Dear J,
    If you do not live in the district then you are not concerned about us that are. You need to worry about your own district since you can walk your dog and not worry about being mugged. I am not aware of any of what you are saying. All i know is that David James has been around a long time and has done alot for the youth in the 6th district, and no he was not being paid….he volunteered. I talked to David personally and he wants everything we want and need in the 6th district.

  12. JTT
    Posted August 4, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    I have no dog in the fight, but I’m curious, give me some specific examples of how he has helped the 6th District? He apparently just moved into the District – and is working for U of L as a police officer. He apparently sailed ahead of other officers who’d been there longer, to make rank, he can’t have been at UL more than a couple of years, after all, he was KBI not that long ago. He’s been working in Frankfort and prior to that was LMPD, but he wasn’t assigned to the 6th (or its predecessor) either, that I recall.

  13. gracie
    Posted August 4, 2010 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Dear JTT
    Sounds like you are not happy that David has had a very successful career and people love him.
    David will be our next councilman in the 6th district. My whole neighborhood is very excited and cant wait till he files so we can give money and volunteer.
    I hope you are just as involved in your district as you are mine.

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