Via press release from House Dems:
Kentucky House Democratic Caucus Leader Joni Jenkins, the first woman to lead a legislative caucus in the General Assembly and who was first elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1994, announced today she is withdrawing as a candidate for the 44thHouse District. She will maintain her seat and her title as caucus leader through the end of the year.
Here is her statement on today’s announcement:
“I have long advocated for a General Assembly that looks like Kentucky, so when minorities became the majority population in the newly redrawn 44th House District, I did not want to be a barrier to a person of color joining the Kentucky House of Representatives. That’s why I withdrew my candidacy today.
“I have loved representing my beautifully diverse district for many years, and will be forever grateful that the voters gave me the chance to serve them. I will finish my term the same way I started my first: Fighting for those I represent and for a better commonwealth.
There has been no greater honor than leading this incredible House Democratic Caucus and serving with so many wonderful people over the years. It has been said many times, but your fellow legislators really do feel like family, and I’ve long known that to be true.”
Update – House Speaker issues statement on Jenkins retirement
House Speaker David Osborne issued the following statement upon hearing that House Minority Floor Leader Joni Jenkins will withdraw her candidacy for re-election to the 44th House District:
“Since taking the Oath of Office in January of 1995, the House Minority Floor Leader has devoted her legislative career to advocating for the people of her district and providing a voice for Kentuckians across the Commonwealth. Her extraordinary work on behalf of women and children has brought attention to the challenges our state faces, while her willingness to work across the aisle has provided an opportunity to seek meaningful solutions. Leader Jenkins always puts people before politics and while we have not always agreed, I have never doubted her commitment. While Joni’s decision to retire at the end of this term saddens me, I wish her the very best.”
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