Tuesday's election changed landscape of Louisville Metro Council
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Tuesday's election caused a major shift within Louisville's Metro Council, suddenly giving the Democratic caucus much more power than it did before.
It wasn't necessarily an October surprise, but it did change the landscape of the council.
"I think it was great for Metro Council," Metro Council President David James said. "I think that it allowed for changeover on the council."
That changeover includes eight departures and the two additional seats for Democrats, bringing their total to 19 compared to seven Republicans.
James said the additional seats are important and could have helped the Democratic caucus a few years ago during the minimum wage debate when Mayor Greg Fischer threatened to veto an increase. The high court eventually stepped in and stopped the proposed increase.
"Had that discussion happened when we had 19 Democrats, then we would not have been in that situation, and we could have probably pushed through a higher minimum wage at that time," James said.
On Tuesday, Fischer was re-elected to another four-year term and sees the election as a mandate from voters.
"Clearly, the people of Louisville spoke very loudly last night in terms with agreement with the direction we are taking the city," Fischer said. "They want to see us do more and more of that, and it was really an honor to be elected by an overwhelming majority."
The Democrats gained a bigger majority with the election of entrepreneur Paula McCraney, who won the seat vacated by Republican mayoral candidate Angela Leet.
"I want to be a part of something that is greater than myself," McCraney said.
McCraney, who is also a former bank executive and has held top positions in Metro Government, believes her background will be an asset to the people she was elected to represent.
"I want to get things done, and that's what my reputation is," she said.
McCraney was elected in a district that has traditionally voted Republican but said she will not be limited to working with or representing one party.
"I am a systems person," she said. "I am a connector. I am known to be a collaborator."
District 17 Republican Councilman Glen Stuckel was also defeated on Tuesday night. Stuckel is respected and liked by members of both parties on Metro Council. James admitted that despite picking up another seat, there's no joy in seeing his longtime colleague replaced.
"Glen is a good man, and I like working with him," James said. "He'll be missed."
The new members of Metro Council will be sworn in to office on Jan. 6.
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