Rep. Mary Lou Marzian (D-Louisville) comments on House Bill 9, a bill related to public charter schools, in the House. (photo by LRC Public Information)

Mary Lou Marzian, gerrymandered by Repubs, withdraws from running

Forward Kentucky
Forward Kentucky

Via press release from Reproductive Rights for Kentucky

A 28-year incumbent in the Kentucky House, who was targeted by the Republican redistricting committee, has withdrawn her candidacy for the 2022 election.

Louisville native Mary Lou Marzian stated: “I am not going to play their sadistic and misogynist game of pitting Democratic women against each other.”

Marzian’s district was gerrymandered to create a new house district that paired her with another incumbent Democratic legislator, Josie Raymond. Lisa Willner and McKenzie Cantrell also had their two House Districts (35 and 38) combined. Cantrell lost most of her District 38 to the new District 35 and choose to withdraw from the May Primary.

Also due to redistricting, Jefferson County is losing Kentucky House Minority Leader Joni Jenkins, who was elected the same year as Marzian.

The Marzian record

Marzian represented House District 34 for nearly three decades, always winning her races by huge percentages.

“I was a voice that the Republicans wanted to get rid of because they were afraid of truth to power.”

Marzian championed women and children’s issues and improving education, and was the first legislator to back LGBTQ+ issues.

Along the way, Marzian made fun of the male Republican hypocritical bills on women’s reproductive health. Her 2016 Viagra bill received nationwide attention because it would force men who want to use erectile dysfunction drugs to jump through a series of humiliating hoops, such as visiting a doctor twice and getting notes from their wives. The bill also would have required each man to make a sworn statement, with his hand on a Bible, that he would only use a drug for erectile dysfunction when having sexual relations with his current spouse.

Her recent amendment giving exemptions based on religious beliefs from the recent abortion bills showed the hypocrisy of all the religious exemptions the Republicans put in the bills regarding COVID masks and gatherings.

The Bitch Caucus

In 1998, Marzian, along with the five other female legislators were dubbed “the Bitch Caucus” by the Republican male legislators.

“We six women were an anomaly to these white good-ole-boys,” Marzian said. “They were uncomfortable talking about breast exams, uteruses, and vaginas. One House male Republican even wanted to know if he had a cervix.”

Marzian was a leader in fundraising for the Democratic candidates, bringing hundreds of thousands of campaign dollars over the years to especially help female candidates, especially new candidates.

Surrounded by the current female legislators from Jefferson County, most of whom she mentored, Marzian signed the candidate withdrawal form. Longtime supporter, Mikki Adams, notarized the “Notice of Candidate Withdrawal.” Marzian’s name will still be on the May Primary ballot, but none of the votes cast for her will count.

“I was truly honored to represent the wonderful people of Kentucky House District 34. This is not easy for anyone who loves Louisville and loves this Commonwealth. These Republicans are destroying the lives the women and children and they are decimating every aspect of Louisville. It is up to the voters to take back their government.”


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