Herron in the House!

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Newly elected Kentucky state representative, Keturah Herron

Hanna Grass, Writer

On February 22nd, voters in the 42nd Kentucky House District took to the ballots to fill a vacant seat left empty by Rep. Reginald Meeks, who resigned in December after 21 years. Stepping in is Democrat Keturah Herron, making history as the first openly-LGBTQ Kentuckian elected to the state House.

Herron went head to head with Republican Judy Martin Stallard when vying for the seat, and at 6 p.m. across the district, polls closed and votes were tallied. Herron took the victory with a whopping 1,950 votes while Stallard stood at final count of 119.

“Representative-Elect Herron will fill a nearly 15-year gap in LGBTQ representation in the Kentucky General Assembly, and we need her now more than ever before,” Fairness Campaign Executive Director Chris Hartman said in the Lexington Herald Leader.

“Being a Black, queer, masculine-presenting woman, this is history. This matters,” Herron told WDRB News. “This matters for all of those folks who across, not just here in Louisville, but across the commonwealth, to know that you are able to do that and you have someone that is going to be able to represent you, not just speak on issues, but someone who knows and understands and who’s walked that and so I just look forward to inspiring other folks and open up the doors for other people to be in this space.”

Herron is a former policy strategist at the American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky and as a Black woman, advocated on behalf of Breonna Taylor, shot and killed by Louisville police in 2020, when the ban on no-knock search warrants came into play. She passionately pushed for change and helped enact the state law that limited the use of these no-knock warrants.

“When we talk about racial justice, you have to talk about voting rights and restoring the voting rights of folks,” she said to WDRB. “Then, obviously, we’ve seen violence not only here in Louisville, but across the commonwealth. It’s not something that’s just happening here.”

Herron will not stay quiet. She wants to stand up and make a difference however that may look. In Frankfort this session, she plans on filing a new gun violence prevention bill.

All in all, Herron is excited and looking forward to working with the people of District 42. She called this election “exciting” and “humbling” and with the Republican party holding a supermajority status in the House, it will be interesting to see what’s to come from this level of our government.