As we look ahead to 2019, keep an eye on these people who could help shape Louisville, the state and our image.
We saw brutal fights over the state pension system in 2018, wholesale changes in administrationand coaching at the University of Louisville, a school shooting and opponents of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell who delighted in ruining his dinner with his wife.
But 2018 is over, and we’re looking ahead to a new and hopefully better year in Kentucky — one in which we get a handle on problems that have plagued us and unite for the common good despite our political differences.
With help from readers, we’ve picked 19 people (and three bonus people) who we think could help shape Louisville, the state and its image in 2019. The names come from a wide range of fields, from politics and business to sports and Louisville’s vibrant arts and entertainment scene. They range from high-profile politicians like Gov. Matt Bevin and U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, to a middle school principal and a librarian who works closely with immigrants.
Here are our 19 people to watch in 2019 — and three more you might want to keep an eye on.
JULIE RAQUE ADAMS
Republican caucus chair in the Kentucky Senate
WHY: Adams upset longtime caucus chairman Dan Seum, of Louisville, to become the only woman to hold a leadership position in the state Senate.
A generation younger than the 78-year-old Seum, Adams brings strong credentials after having served as chairwoman of the Senate Health & Welfare Committee and on the Louisville Metro Council. She’s the first woman on the Senate majority’s leadership team since Katie Stine, R-Southgate, retired in 2015.
ADAMS SAYS: “One of the things we haven’t done really well with is to have better communication with our districts. … We have a tremendous amount of issues that need to be fixed and we can do it in a bipartisan manner, but we need to show people that Frankfort is not a scary place and we really can get things done.”
ABOUT ADAMS: “One of the things I value most about Julie is that she is able to find common ground with everyone. It doesn’t matter what it is, once she is able to find some common ground, she’s able to really grow and expand on it. … I expect great things not only for Louisville, but the whole state.” — Cathe Dykstra, president and CEO of Family Scholar House
President of the University of Louisville
WHY: When Bendapudi joined U of L in May, many Louisville fans and alumni hoped her arrival would mark the end of a turbulent period in the school’s history.
Bendapudi’s optimism and experience in academia, most recently as provost of the University of Kansas, earned her a warm reception. She spent much of her first six months on the job seeking input from professors, donors and students. She plans to develop a new strategic plan next year, among other initiatives.
She already has made history as the first woman and the first person of color to serve as U of L’s permanent president.
BENDAPUDI SAYS: “I came to U of L with the goal of making the university a great place to learn, to work and in which to invest. In the coming year, we will be engaging the entire campus community in a strategic planning process that will set a course for the future and ensure that we can reach our lofty goals. …Our best days truly lie ahead.”
ABOUT BENDAPUDI: “Neeli is a dynamic leader with crystal-clear purpose. While she and her team are addressing needs in the short term, she already has her eyes on the strategic horizon for the University of Louisville. She has made a significant impact in just six months … and I fully expect her to continue that velocity into 2019 and beyond.” — Kelly Hodges, chair of the board of directors for U of L’s alumni association
From Bendapudi:Exposing kids to arts education helps them and our community
Governor of Kentucky
WHY: Bevin is heading into his re-election year with a feeling of confidence after a teacher’s movement failed to curtail Republican supermajorities in the legislature.
The governor’s bellicose style fueled his rise in 2015, and he has taken his case on the road by holding a series of forums with constituents across the state. But it’s still unclear if he will keep Lt. Gov. Jenean Hampton as his running mate or pick someone new, which would signal a turn in his administration.
BEVIN SAYS: Bevin’s office did not respond to a request for a quote.
ABOUT BEVIN: “Obviously 2019 is a big year for the governor simply due to the election calendar. But outside of the election, I would expect to see him continue on his current trajectory. He’ll remain focused on economic development and setting Kentucky’s financial house in order. I expect him to be more aggressive selling the record-breaking economic development, increased workforce participation and lower unemployment rate that his administration has fostered over the last three years.” – Les Fugate, Republican consultant
Recent headlines: Gov. Matt Bevin dares would-be challengers to ‘get in’ 2019 race
United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky
WHY: In office for a year, the former FBI agent and Western Kentucky native is credited with rallying law enforcement to go after major drug suppliers and violent criminals. Coleman’s crackdown is expected to intensify in 2019 as his office seeks maximum prison sentences for felons caught with guns, gang members and even small-time dealers who sell drugs that lead to overdoses.
He has helped secure extra prosecutors and federal agents in Paducah to tackle meth’s grip on the Purchase and Pennyrile regions. Coleman also has promised justice to the family of slain Bardstown Police Officer Jason Ellis, a priority for 2019.
COLEMAN SAYS: “Every fiber of my body is dedicated to working as one with our local, state and federal partners to be relevant, to have an impact on violent crime and the poison that’s being brought into our community. If you are member of a violent gang in Louisville, I would be worried in 2019.”
ABOUT COLEMAN: “He was bound and determined to ensure that he could assist with our goal — which is to keep people alive every day — not just for one side of the city, but people all over. This is a high-level official who has stuck to his word to work to bring peace to this community and who has not wavered.” — Louisville Metro Police Maj. Billy Hibbs, commander of the Ninth Mobile Division
Actor (“Training Day,” “We Are Boats,” “Empire” and “Chicago P.D.”)
WHY: Prior to his big break, Cornwell’s acting resume was pretty short and included a few roles in school productions at Crosby Middle School, Eastern High School and the University of Louisville. He moved to Illinois and joined the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, but even then the roles were sparse. Then a big opportunity came his way: the chance to co-star with the late Bill Paxton in the CBS drama “Training Day.” The series was canceled after 13 episodes when Paxton died suddenly in 2017. Since that time, Cornwell has steadily worked in the film industry and been home as a guest of the Kentucky Derby Festival.
CORNWELL SAYS: “I’m excited for my upcoming project with Patty Jenkins — the TNT thriller ‘I Am the Night.’ That project is slated to come out Jan. 28. It was an incredible experience shooting this real-life story and being a part of such an artistic process with that team. (Next year) will also see the premiere of my newest show I star in. It’s a supernatural crime drama called ‘The InBetween.’ “
ABOUT CORNWELL: “I heard great things about Justin prior to working with him and was very glad when it all turned out to be true. It’s been an absolute pleasure working and collaborating with Justin on ‘The InBetween.’ For best results in this biz, it’s all about leaving the ego at the door and discovering and creating together. Justin does that brilliantly.” — Paul Blackthorne, Academy Award-nominated actor (“Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India,” “Arrow”)
President and chief executive officer of Norton Healthcare
WHY: Cox became the top executive at the 14,000-employee health system in January 2017 when many hospitals and health care provider groups were struggling. The headwinds are astounding — cuts in federal reimbursements, the push for value-based care models that mean keeping patients well and out of hospitals, and soaring costs for talent and the latest technical innovations, to name a few.
Norton’s numbers, however, are trending in the right direction. During the first half of 2018, it recorded operating income of $46.7 million on revenues of $1.12 billion. That’s a nice increase over operating income of $44.6 million on revenues of $1.1 billion during the first half of 2017.
The health system now has 300,000 patients using an online system called MyNortonChart to renew prescriptions, get lab results and communicate with doctors. It’s also begun doing Saturday colonoscopies. Extended hours at primary care offices and round-the-clock hours at some immediate care centers is on the horizon.
COX SAYS: “I don’t think people hate anything more than waiting … We’re trying to do a lot of those things” that make it easier and quicker for people to get the care they need.
ABOUT COX: “Russ brings a combination of vision and a very solid foundation of executive leadership … He knows Norton upside-down and sideways because he’s been there for years.” – Larry Prybil, professor, University of Kentucky’s College of Public Health
Louisville women’s basketball senior guard
WHY: Durr is one of the most explosive basketball players in the college game and ranks among the top scorers in Louisville history. She broke a school record by scoring 47 points against Ohio State in the second game of the 2017-18 season before propelling the Cardinals to the Final Four. Now in her senior season, Durr is a contender to be named National Player of the Year and a projected first-round pick in the 2019 WNBA Draft.
DURR SAYS: “I’ve really embraced that, being the go-to player. I want to be the player where, when the game is on the line, coach draws up the play for me. I’m challenging myself to take that notch up every single night. Playing, and showing everybody, that I could possibly be one of the best players in the country.”
ABOUT DURR: “I think she’s proven that she can play big on a big stage. … She’s special. She can put the ball in the basket, she makes big shots and she’s fun to watch. That’s why fans come out to watch us. We’ve had Angel (McCoughtry), we’ve had Shoni (Schimmel) and now it’s Asia Durr.” — Louisville coach Jeff Walz
Director of the Kentucky Resources Council
WHY: FitzGerald has been working in Frankfort for 40 years to stop legislation that could dirty our streams, pollute our air and trash our state. He’s also carved out a niche trying to protect property owners from overzealous utility companies he believes trample their rights.
The lawyer who has an expertise in environmental law has come to earn the respect of legislators on both sides of the aisle. And while he used to push for legislation he thought was beneficial to the environment, in recent years he has largely played defense to stop the legislature, with its pro-business bent, from rolling back progressive environmental laws.
FITZGERALD SAYS: “Certainly, the utilities are going to continue their effort to devalue solar energy that is fed onto the grid … and another one of the issues is going to be whether the KentuckyWired project is going to run over landowners’ rights in an attempt to get their wires hung. … We can’t have a healthy economy if we don’t protect the land, the air, the water and the people.”
ABOUT FITZGERALD: “I can’t imagine how bad Kentucky’s environment, public health and utility rates would be without Fitz. Because he can sue if the legislature goes too far, he’s earned everyone’s respect. That he’s so polite doesn’t hurt.” — Sarah Lynn Cunningham, environmental engineer and president of the Kentucky Conservation Committee
Co-founder and CEO of WeatherCheck
WHY: Gray is a rising star in Louisville’s startup scene. He describes himself as a serial entrepreneur. He previously worked for a roofing company and realized there’s big value in providing pinpoint data on where hailstorms have caused damage to roofs.
WeatherCheck created a proprietary algorithm that Gray and investors envision will disrupt the insurance industry. The service allows property owners to get a damage report, so they can file claims.
WeatherCheck will begin lifting off in 2019. Gray and co-founder/chief technology officer Jermaine Watkins are headed to San Francisco to participate in an accelerator program during the first quarter of 2019, where they’ll also spend time recruiting more than two dozen people for their technical team. Being a minority-owned company, Gray says, the seed capital of $878,000 trails that of other startups, but with revenues of $4.5 million a year already, people are taking notice.
GRAY SAYS: “What’s most exciting is the company…is seen as a potential unicorn (a privately held startup valued at more than $1 billion). We’ll be getting the chance to pull back the curtain on our company.”
ABOUT GRAY: “Demetrius has several characteristics that will be invaluable as he builds WeatherCheck: He has direct industry experience with property insurance and roofing. He’s a great communicator. He’s curious and energetic, and he knows how to motivate people. He’s also tenacious and hardworking. I ran into him recently outside the WeatherCheck office as he was leaving work, at 9 p.m.” — Greg Langdon, entrepreneur and startup mentor
Principal, W.E.B. DuBois Academy
WHY: As the leader of Jefferson County’s newest public school, Gunn has a lot to celebrate. The DuBois Academy, an all-boys school that opened in August with an inaugural sixth-grade class, has received widespread community support. And with a curriculum grounded in African-American history and culture, the school is putting to action the district’s pledge to improve racial equity.
The new year will bring several challenges for Gunn. His students, who hail from nearly 70 different elementary schools, will take standardized tests in the spring along with their peers at other district middle schools. When test results are returned next fall, eyes will be on DuBois to see if the district’s $2.2 million investment is paying off.
GUNN SAYS: “I tell parents, I’ll tell you, I tell everyone: At the end of eighth grade, they’re not going to want to leave us, we’re not going to want them to leave, and their parents aren’t going to want them to leave. So, the push for me is to make sure that we are continuing to be successful, continuing to change the narrative of what it means to be a young male in our community, whether you’re a male of color or not, and just forging our own way and our own path.”
ABOUT GUNN: He “may just be the most inspirational leader I’ve come across in quite some time. … He’s just a take-charge leader. And the way he inspires a crowd — you walk away with, ‘What can I do to help our youth?’ And I just find that extraordinary.” — Audwin Helton, president of Spatial Data Integrations, a company that provides geospatial services
President and CEO of Volunteers of America Mid-States
WHY: Hancock advocates for individuals and families affected by addiction as she leads one of the region’s largest and most diverse nonprofits. She has pushed for new approaches to battle the region’s addiction crisis, such as mobile needle exchanges and increased availability to the heroin and opioid antidote — including at area drugstores.
In the spring, the agency is expanding addiction treatment with the opening of Freedom House in Manchester for expectant women and mothers and their young children. The VOA also will become the first non-government agency to team with Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates to register donors throughout the state.
HANCOCK: “We have several high-impact partnerships to announce next year. We will, in the first quarter, announce that we have acquired another nonprofit. It will pair our mission with another to deliver a unique service and retail experience to the community.”
ABOUT HANCOCK: “She’s a highly skilled leader. She cares passionately about the mission and works hard to be a connector in our community, focused on lifting people up.” — Metro Council President David James
WHY: Harlow has been raising eyebrows since he was wandering the halls at Atherton High School, delivering acrobatic raps filled with stellar wordplay and biting humor. He’s been predicting big things for himself ever since, and 2019 is when it all happens.
In August, he signed with Atlantic Records and will release an album on the label’s Generation Now imprint, which is headed by Atlantic Records talent scout and artist developer DJ Drama. Harlow’s reputation has grown exponentially outside the Louisville area, where he’s wildly popular, and his trademark curls and knowing smirk are now going nationwide.
HARLOW SAYS: “I plan on challenging myself in every way in 2019. I want to really hone in on my craft and be as good of a writer as I can. I plan on dropping hit records that make people want to dance and go crazy, but also provide something that resonates with them on a personal level.”
ABOUT HARLOW: “The world needs to watch out for Jack Harlow in 2019 because everything leading up to this point has been a warm-up. In 2019, Jack will get on fire and it will be almost impossible for anything to cool him down. The flames might actually go to dangerous levels, which is exciting because the music he is preparing to deliver will be nothing less than scorching.” — DJ Drama
Winner of Fox’s “MasterChef,” Season 9
WHY: The Louisville native gained national attention when he won the televised competition for home cooks hosted by Gordon Ramsey. He learned his way around a kitchen cooking next to his mother in their Newburg home. His Southern style of cooking ultimately won the high school English teacher $250,000 and the title of Master Chef.
HURT SAYS: “I have plans to make sure that Chef Gerron becomes a heavy-hitting name. In 2019, I plan to launch my website Familyonaplate.com on Jan. 3 and develop an interactive-style restaurant in Nashville, Tennessee. I will also continue traveling the world doing food demonstrations, speaking engagements, guest appearances, hosting dinner parties, leading cooking classes and more. Trust me, 2019 is my year.”
ABOUT HURT: “I’ve watched and experienced life with this man since 2014, so I’m no stranger to what he’s truly capable of. He’s strong, resilient, hard-working and driven… Gerron is authentic. He not only feeds your stomach but your soul too. In 2019, if you’re not watching Chef Gerron, you’re missing out. — Brandi Beckman, Hurt’s manager and fiancée
Meet Gerron Hurt: Get to know the season nine winner of Fox’s ‘MasterChef’
Immigrant services librarian
WHY: Based at the Louisville Free Public Library’s Iroquois branch, Maier for years has run English conversation clubs and festivals that have acted as a critical bridge between immigrants and their neighbors in a part of Louisville that is home to residents from Cuba to Somalia.
On any given day, Maier might present programs such as a film from Kurdistan, a showcase of music from Burundi or a discussion series. As immigration continues to be a contentious issue in 2019, Maier’s plans include growing partnerships with local colleges that bring students for cultural programs and one-on-one conversations with immigrants. The goal is to increase knowledge, context and critical thinking about the issue.
MAIER SAYS: “The hope is that their views will be more informed through those conversations and through that experience of hearing someone’s story, such as someone who came from Honduras. If you’re talking with a Somali woman who is talking about her desire to be reunited with her children (separated because of immigration restrictions), that’s different from hearing a pundit from any side spin it. That’s reality, that’s what’s going on.”
ABOUT MAIER: “In 2019 the immigrant story will be in the news, and no one personifies the struggles better than Sophie Maier. She has so many connections throughout the community, all of which help her to connect people who can help other people. Our immigrant population is here, going to school, working and struggling to learn the language and becoming good citizens of the commonwealth. Sophie is helping every step of the way. She is definitely a person who will drive change in Louisville and throughout the state in 2019.” — Bill Stone, businessman and volunteer
Lead pastor of Northeast Christian Church, also known as the Love The ‘Ville Church
WHY: McKenzie has led a community service effort at Northeast Christian Church and beyond called the Love The ‘Ville movement. It started as a day of service, grew into a summer of service and is now a year-round initiative involving thousands of people.
The volunteers help support teachers’ needs and fund initiatives at nine partner schools. They also created a mobile summer reading program by converting a trailer into a classroom, allowing them to help kids in the partner schools improve their reading. Love The ‘Ville, in partnership with community groups, also provides 150 meals each week to the homeless, sponsors families through Kentucky Refugee Ministries and offers programs in Kentucky’s prisons.
In 2019, Love The ‘Ville will add partners in western Louisville and focus on mental health partnerships. It also will help other cities create versions of its effort.
MCKENZIE SAYS: “Sometimes I wonder if we like talking about love in our country more than actually doing anything about it. … What I think should excite folks about the Love The ‘Ville movement is that we are doing something about it.”
ABOUT MCKENZIE: “Tyler’s message for loving all and servant leadership are truly a blessing to this community that should be shared widely and often.” — Chris Rutherford, member of Northeast Christian Church and Love The ‘Ville volunteer
CEO of Metro United Way
WHY: Reno-Weber took over as president and CEO of Metro United Way two years ago on the cusp of the organizations 100th birthday, but since then she’s focused her energy on defining the organization for the century ahead. She’s worked to overcome Metro United Way’s image as a payroll deduction nonprofit that the baby boomers support to creating new ways to reach the next generation, such as mobile donations and go fund me campaigns. Under her leadership the organization raised more than $36 million in 2017 and making Metro United Way’s goal of raising a $1 billion in 100 years.
She has a passion for collaboration, and that’s evident in the initiatives Metro United Way has pushed in the past two years. The Ready for K Alliance, which facilitates conversation with agencies focused on early childhood education, has seen a 7 percent hike in kindergarten readiness over the past three years.
In 2019, though, Metro United Way will launch United Community, a technology-based platform that’s focused on creating a communitywide system where individuals are matched with services based on their needs in health, education and social services. The idea is to simplify referrals, create an open dialogue and find long-term solutions for people and children in need.
RENO-WEBER SAYS: “I’m really excited about getting to action and implementation on a vision of connecting our community in a way that we’ve talked about for a number of years, and now we’re really ready to act on.”
ABOUT RENO-WEBER: “I think Theresa brings a collaborative spirit to her role. She is working hard to pull others together to find solutions rather than working in silos.” — Elizabeth McKune, vice president of health integration for Passport
CEO of the Louisville Urban League
WHY: Reynolds has a vision for revitalizing Louisville’s West End. It starts at the corner of 30th Street and Muhammad Ali Boulevard. The Louisville Urban League is developing a $35 million indoor track and sports complex there, and Reynolds is pushing for all funding to be secured for the project by the end of 2019.
REYNOLDS SAYS: “To have this kind of opportunity for impact, I think 2019 is going to be an amazing year.”
ABOUT REYNOLDS: “You never forget where you came from. You remember the struggle. You remember how hard it was. And I think that Sadiqa is driven by her own life, what she’s seen in her own life and saying, ‘We can do this. We can do things for ourselves, but we need help.’ Our communities need investment by people who care about us and not just take the money and run.” — Betty Bayé, a former Courier Journal columnist and Sadiqa Reynolds’ longtime mentor
CEO of Papa John’s International
WHY: Steve Ritchie found himself in the middle of a crisis after Forbes reported in July that Papa John’s founder and chairman John Schnatter had used the N-word during a media training conference call. The world’s third-largest pizza maker saw a 10 percent drop in sales, the ouster of Schnatter, and, hardest of all, a battle to regain the trust of franchisees and customers.
It’s been Ritchie’s job to steady the ship, even as company leaders seek out Wall Street investment advisers Lazard and Bank of America to navigate a potential sale or partial takeover. Ritchie has emphasized that reinventing the brand and helping beleaguered franchisees hit hard by the debacle is the core mission.
RITCHIE SAYS: “2019 is probably our most anticipated year ever. We have an opportunity to paint a picture and vision. … People must remain the No. 1 priority. That’s what’s going to differentiate the brand.”
ABOUT RITCHIE: “He has not just applied makeup to hide the challenges, but he has begun the reconstructive work of education for the team, from top down. … The transformation is beginning and it must be significant enough to rebuild trust with pizza customers, because at the end of the day, if trust in the brand isn’t rebuilt, there will be nothing left. I think Steve can do it.” — Sadiqa Reynolds, CEO of the Louisville Urban League
About Steve Ritchie:Papa John’s embattled CEO braces for fight: ‘Pizza is my life’
University of Louisville football coach
WHY: The native of Hillsborough, North Carolina, will try to lead the Louisville football program out of the doldrums. So far he has cleaned house on the coaching staff and brought in some new faces, started work on his first recruiting class and hired a strength coach to lead winter workouts. Can he put together enough improvement to make it show at Cardinal Stadium in 2019?
SATTERFIELD SAYS: “I always want to treat people with respect because I want to be treated with respect. I think I’m going to be who I am, and hopefully we’ll have a lot of success. Throughout my whole career, it’s been very successful. Not to say there hasn’t been any downs — there has been. But I think just be true to who you are. I think that’s how you have success, and not try to be somebody else.”
ABOUT SATTERFIELD: “He’s got Nick Saban’s passion to win, but he’s got Dabo Swinney’s character to do it the right way.” — Mark Speir, an assistant coach with Satterfield at Appalachian State and now the head coach at Western Carolina
On Louisville’s coach: Scott Satterfield leaves home, and a coaching dream rolls on
Chief equity officer for Louisville Metro Government
WHY: Watson’s family was hit by tragedy in 2018 when her father, Maurice Stallard, was one of two African-Americans shot and killed at the Jeffersontown Kroger in what’s been charged as a hate crime. But long before, Watson had dedicated herself to diversity, inclusion and equity — lifting up everyone in the city — in work that she said she’s always been drawn to.
As the city’s first chief equity officer, Watson is tasked with creating a culture of equity throughout Louisville, a priority for Mayor Greg Fischer’s administration. In 2019, that work will include continuing to review both city policies and external structures and systems that prevent residents from achieving their full potential. It will also involve a new initiative, Lean Into Louisville, meant to encourage people to come together, gain some understanding of discrimination and divisions within history and create a community where everyone can thrive and be successful together.
WATSON SAYS: “In 2019, the mayor and I have really begun to focus on equity. There’ll be some big announcements with some things regarding Lean Into Louisville, which is really a big movement that we’re trying to do around looking at the historical impacts of discrimination on the community and the nation, and really trying to make this city a place where everyone can thrive and reach their full potential.”
ABOUT WATSON: “Kellie was already a champion for equity, way before the tragedy took place with her dad. … As the saying goes, this makes it kind of personal. And so, I’m sure she’s going to do a great job – and I look forward to seeing how our city reacts to all of these initiatives as well.” — Mayor Greg Fischer
Peace activist and director of No More Red Dots
WHY: Woods has worked for decades to break cycles of violence. A big part of his job is teaching peace and helping people find a better way to live. Louisville’s recent spike in homicides and shootings, which broke modern records, underscored the need for such work.
Working with the city’s Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods, Woods and his growing team seek to quell retaliatory violence, stopping today’s shooting from leading to tomorrow’s homicide. He often says he’s helping break people from their addiction to “the bang,” the sound of the gun. In 2019, backed with city funding, Woods said he’s looking to help keep Louisville’s homicides trending downward.
WOODS: “You gotta engage the shooter, you gotta engage the guys with the guns. The risk reduction model is basically getting a person to see what they’re doing in terms of activities that keeps them in the conditions that they’re in and showing them to use protective factors to change their lives.”
ABOUT WOODS: “Dr. Woods has devoted his life to the work of saving our young people and eliminating violence from their lives and our neighborhoods. (He) is the real deal. He has seen results in the number of lives he’s turned around and who have enrolled in college and careers and who work with him in giving back to our community.” — Cheri Bryant Hamilton, long-serving former Louisville Metro Councilwoman
U.S. representative for Kentucky’s 3rd Congressional District
WHY: The Bluegrass State’s lone Democrat in Washington will chair the House Budget Committee in 2019. It means Louisville and the state will have another national power broker, along with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Yarmuth has served in Congress for eight years in the minority after a brief stint in the majority. He plans to turn the committee into a forward-thinking forum on a series of issues that impact spending, from climate change and technology to immigration, which could be a major point of contention with the Trump administration.
YARMUTH SAYS: “The kind of thing we’re going to be doing in the Budget Committee is going to be unique and unprecedented in the Congress. We’re going to have a series of hearings that are going to be future-oriented as to how certain topics are going to affect the U.S. budget both near-term and long-term, and that’s what never happens here.”
ABOUT YARMUTH: “Yarmuth has stated he wants to seek common ground, especially with his colleagues across the aisle. Also, he will have challenges with his own caucus, which now includes a coalition of liberals, moderates and conservative Democrats. However, we should look for great things from Congressman Yarmuth … he is a sharp and experienced member of Congress.” — Dewey Clayton, University of Louisville political science professor