Former House Democratic Caucus Chairman Jim Callahan dies

12/02/2013 09:14 AM

Former state Rep. Jim Callahan — the last state House leader from Northern Kentucky — died Saturday. He was 74.

Callahan served as 67th district state representative for 18 years before retiring in 2004. He also served four two-year terms as House majority caucus chairman.

As a veteran lawmaker and legislative leader, Callahan played was instrumental in securing funds for a number of Northern Kentucky projects including the Northern Kentucky Convention Center, Newport on the Levee as well as several buildings on the campus of Northern Kentucky University.

Education was also important to Callahan who pushed for the Kentucky Postsecondary Education Improvement Act in 1997 — a higher education reform package put forward by then-Democratic Gov. Paul Patton.

A residence hall on the campus of Northern Kentucky University is named after Callahan.

Current 67th District State Rep. Dennis Keene, D-Wilder, who succeeded Callahan, wrote on his Facebook page: “He was a giant for Northern Kentucky and I will miss my friend and mentor. My thoughts and prayers are with Jim’s family during this difficult time.”

When announcing his retirement in 2004, Callahan said that he had Parkinson’s disease.

Arrangements are being handled by Dobbling, Muehlenkamp-Erschell Funeral Home.
Visitation will be Wednesday from 4 to 8 PM at the Southgate Community Center, 301 W. Walnut St.

Don Weber

Don Weber is a Video Journalist for Spectrum News and covers politics and education on Pure Politics, Kentucky’s only nightly program dedicated to state politics. Don is a lifelong Kentuckian and a graduate of Northern Kentucky University. He spent many years covering sports in the Northern Kentucky area before shifting primarily to politics. You can watch Don’s work weeknights at 7:00 and 11:30 on Pure Politics, available exclusively on Spectrum News, HD Channels 403 and 715. If you have a story idea you can reach Don at


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