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Top Ky. Democratic lawmaker withdraws from campaign

Kentucky House Minority Leader Joni Jenkins says she won’t run for reelection.
Published: Jan. 26, 2022 at 4:10 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP/WKYT) - Kentucky House Minority Leader Joni Jenkins says she won’t run for reelection.

She’s pointing to her district’s new Republican-drawn boundaries as the reason. Jenkins is the top-ranking Democrat in the GOP-dominated chamber.

She said Wednesday she’ll maintain her seat and title as caucus leader through the end of the year. She withdrew from her reelection campaign a day after the filing deadline to run in this year’s primary.

Jenkins, who is white, says the redistricting map made her district a “majority-minority” district racially. She says she doesn’t want to be a barrier to a “person of color” joining the House.

The Kentucky Democratic Party released this statement about Jenkins:

“Joni Jenkins is a trailblazer who has made Kentucky a better commonwealth through her years of service that should be a model for other leaders. As the first woman to be elected the primary leader of either party’s legislative caucus, Leader Jenkins built an impeccable record serving the commonwealth, protecting our most vulnerable and improving the lives of Kentuckians from all corners of the state. While she is not running for another term, we know her work is far from over and she will continue to be a champion for all Kentuckians.”

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