Quick Takes

Lexington Democrat Palumbo not seeking reelection to state House. Son plans to run for her seat.

By: - December 21, 2023 9:57 am

Rep. Ruth Ann Palumbo, D-Lexington, left, speaks with Rep. Scott Lewis, R-Hartford, before the start of a day’s session in the Kentucky House. (LRC Public Information)

A longtime Democratic Lexington legislator will not seek reelection to the Kentucky House of Representatives but her son has indicated he’s running to succeed her. 

State Rep. Ruth Ann Palumbo said in a Thursday statement that she would not run for an 18th term. She thanked her constituents for their trust and her family and friends for their support and encouragement. 

No candidates for the seat had filed with the secretary of state’s office as of Thursday morning, but Palumbo’s son, James, filed a statement of spending intent with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance on Monday to run for his mother’s 76th District seat. The representative is listed as his treasurer. 

The deadline to file for the May primary ballot is Jan. 5.

In her statement, Ruth Ann Palumbo said: “Passing legislation to help women, children, families, the elderly, consumers and small business has made me proud. Working with ‘The Ladies of the House,’ The Women’s Health Act of 1998 was passed, which required insurance companies to cover reconstruction surgery following a mastectomy.” 

Palumbo, who was previously the House Economic Development chair, highlighted her promotion of Kentucky’s signature industries and securing funding with colleges to refurbish Rupp Arena and develop Coldstream. She also said she has fought for women’s health care and rights for LGBTQ+ Kentuckians. 

Palumbo, who represented the 76th House District, which includes part of Fayette County, plans to complete her term ending in 2024. She was first elected to the House in 1991. 

Other House Democrats who have recently announced their plans to leave the legislature include Minority Caucus Leader Derrick Graham, of Frankfort, and Minority Whip Rachel Roberts, of Newport. 


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McKenna Horsley
McKenna Horsley

McKenna Horsley covers state politics for the Kentucky Lantern. She previously worked for newspapers in Huntington, West Virginia, and Frankfort, Kentucky. She is from northeastern Kentucky.