Democratic Rep. Josie Raymond is leaving the state legislature, but not politics

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Democratic Representative Josey Raymond has served in the state House since 2019 and is one of 20 Democrats in the 100-member Kentucky House of Representatives.

Raymond originally represented District 31 in the Republican-led Legislature before last year’s redistricting process drew new political boundaries. That movement They threw her in the same district. As then-Rep. Mary Lou Marzian, has held the seat for nearly three decades. of State GeneralThe court is currently deciding. Kentucky’s redistricting maps are legal after Democrats sue.

Marzian bowed before the election, and in In 2022, Raymond handily won the primary and general election in the 41st District, which includes the suburbs of Highland, Clifton and Strathmore Manor in Louisville.

But Raymond said she didn’t feel she was making enough of an impact statewide as a member of the Democratic Party, which she said went from a minority to an “extreme minority” in the state.

“I think I can have a lot of effectiveness on the Metro Council,” Raymond said. “I want to join many who work to improve people’s lives. And over the last several years, I’ve seen the greatest impact at the local level.

Louisville Metro Councilman Pat Mulvihill, a Democrat who currently represents Metro Council District 10, has announced he will not run for re-election. That opening inspired Raymond to make a change.

After Democratic Gov. Andy Besheer won re-election, Raymond said she believes the party is “starting to move up” in statewide offices, but it’s a long way to go. And her time in the Legislature is draining morale.

“In the last five years that I’ve been in Frankfurt, I’ve seen constant attacks on abortion rights, constant attacks on LGBTQ people, constant attacks on labor unions,” Raymond said. “I fought them as hard as I could. It was very taxing, and I think it’s time for other brave voices to rise up.”

Raymond recently decided to step down, but said she is confident she will be replaced by someone who represents the district’s values.

In an interview, Marzian said she is not ready to retire in 2022.

“I wanted to have a younger man. [the seat] At that time,” she said.

Raymond said he talked to Marzian to ask if she was ready to “go back to wood chipper.” If Marzian is chosen, she says she’ll go in with clear eyes but high spirits.

“I am an eternal optimist. And I hope we can get to the corridor,” said Marzian.

No one other than Marzian has yet filed with Kentucky Election Finance for the 41st District, but the deadline is open until Jan. 5, 2024.

Raymond will continue to serve in her role during the next legislative session, which includes setting the biennial budget. She said that she will continue to advocate for her constituency till the end of her term.

“We have the largest budgeted reserve trust fund we’ve ever had, and we’re more than capable of making smart investments,” Raymond said.

In her last legislative session, Raymond said she hopes to tackle issues such as fixing the pool at the Kentucky School for the Blind, statewide issues like increasing access to health care, reforming the state’s ailing foster care system, and creating more affordable housing.

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