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.

About Don Weber

Don Weber joined cn|2 when it launched back in May 2010 and soon became a reporter for Pure Politics. He is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University and has spent many years covering everything from politics to sports. Don says he loves meeting new people everyday as part of his job and also enjoys the fact that no two days are the same when he comes to work. Don Weber can be reached at


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