Longtime Louisville representative reflects on time in office

Longtime Louisville representative reflects on time in office
Jim Wayne

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Two long-time Louisville state representatives may be resting a little easier Monday, the night before the primary elections, than they have in decades.

Representatives Jim Wayne (D-35) and Darryl Owens (D-43) have decided to not seek re-election.

"Telling people, I'm Jim Wayne, no relation to John Wayne, but you can remember my name that way," Wayne said. He adds that was the strategy, when he won his first election over an incumbent by just three votes per precinct, in the early 90s.

Since then, Wayne has been the incumbent and he's served alongside another longtime representative.

Darryl Owens also announced he would be vacating his seat earlier this year. Starting in 2005, Owens focused on criminal justice, public education and social services.

"The most difficult fights are also the most satisfying," Wayne said.

Wayne adds, for him, those were the fight against the UPS expansion of the airport, tighter penalties stemming from a child abuse church scandal, the affordable housing trust fund and passage of the Michael Minger Act.

Wayne said the biggest issue that still looms is tax reform.

"The republicans have pushed through what they call a tax reform in the last session, which is nothing but corporate welfare," Wayne said.

Policies he still plans to advocate for, as fresh leadership takes over the district.

"Work as cooperatively as possible with your political enemies because they have a point of view that needs to be listened to," Wayne said.

It's advice he said he'd give himself as a freshman legislature, but, he also added, if compromise isn't possible, to stand firm in your beliefs.

31st District Representative Steve Riggs will also not be up for reelection. He took office in the early 90s as well.

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