LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Cheri Bryant Hamilton, one of the Louisville Metro Council’s original members and leader of the majority party’s Democrats, lost in her primary race Tuesday night, a week after she was named in an ethics complaint.

With all precincts reporting, Hamilton trailed challenger Donna Purvis by 154 votes.  

Last week, Hamilton was named in an ethics complaint filed by attorney Dawn Elliott that alleged, among other things, that the councilwoman used neighborhood development funds to buy $6,200 worth of Kentucky Derby gala tables for her and her family. Elliott hosts a radio show with Purvis’ campaign manager, she told WDRB News.

Hamilton called the allegations “baseless” and described the complaint as an attempt at “voter suppression.”

While the results in western Louisville’s 5th District are unofficial, Purvis’ apparent win moves her to a general election challenge with Republican John Owen, who did not have a primary opponent.

Another incumbent, Democrat Vitalis Lanshima, lost in his bid to retain his 21st District seat, which he had held since last December after the council voted him to succeed ousted councilman Dan Johnson. Nicole George had taken 71 percent of the vote with all precincts in the South End reporting.

George will take on Republican Bret Schultz in the fall general election.

Five council members are not seeking reelection this year. They include Democrats Mary Woolridge (3rd District), Marianne Butler (15th District) and Vicki Aubrey Welch (13th District); and Republicans Julie Denton and Angela Leet, who is running for mayor.

Three council members faced challengers in their bids to keep their seats. In all, there were seven contested primary races. The others:

District 1

Jessica Green, who was elected to the council in 2014, easily beat challenger Ameerah Granger, capturing 80 percent of the vote. The western Louisville district hugs the Ohio River and includes portions of the Chickasaw, Russell, California and Parkland neighborhoods. Green will likely retain her seat; no Republicans filed for the seat.

District 3

With 62 percent of the vote, Keisha Dorsey beat Josephine Layne Buckner to replace the retiring Woolridge, who was one of the council’s original members after it was established in 2003. The western Louisville district includes the city of Shively and takes in the Algonquin, Park DuValle, Parkland and Park Hill neighborhoods.

Dorsey is in line to be the next council member, as no Republicans filed to run for the seat.

District 7

Paula McCraney took 69 percent of the vote, cruising to a win over S. Lynn O’Neil for the eastern Jefferson County seat Leet is vacating. She will move on to a general election challenge against Republican Kent Hall, who did not have a primary opponent.

District 15

Four Democrats entered the race to replace the retiring Butler and represent the South End district. Kevin Triplett, a longtime council legislative aide whom Butler defeated for the seat in 2006, captured 33 percent over the vote, beating Kumar Rashad, Marcella Ann Eubank and Almaria Baker.

Triplett will face Richard O. Brown in November. Brown won the GOP primary with 68 percent of the vote over challenger Honey Paine.

Other races in for the council’s odd-numbered districts will be decided in the fall because they weren’t competitive primaries.

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