Joe Palumbo considering running for 6th Congressional District

03/27/2013 11:21 AM

Joe Palumbo, the president of Palumbo Lumber in Lexington, said he’s considering running for the 6th Congressional District after being approached by state Democratic Party officials and other Democrats.

Palumbo is the oldest son of state Rep. Ruth Ann Palumbo, D-Lexington, and is married to Jennifer Nime Palumbo, the co-anchor of Lexington’s Fox-56 Ten O’Clock News.

“It’s very intriguing,” Joe Palumbo said in a phone interview with Pure Politics on Wednesday. “I haven’t done enough due diligence to make a decision whether it’s right both personally and professionally yet.”

Palumbo said he will likely make a decision this summer.

He said he has been contacted by state party officials, elected officials and business leaders around Central Kentucky about running to challenge first-term U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Lexington. Palumbo said he has not spoken to anyone at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in Washington yet.

Palumbo said he knows Barr personally. And he said Barr’s performance in Congress is one of the other factors he will weigh.

Palumbo, 37, has never run for office before but has helped his mother in her campaigns. Ruth Ann Palumbo is the longest-serving woman in the General Assembly having been first elected in 1990.

Joe Palumbo has run the lumber company for the last 10 years, including its expansion with a construction division. He also served as president of the Kentucky Lumber and Business Material Dealers from 2009-2010 during the heart of the recession.

Others being mentioned as potential Democratic contenders for Congress include Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes and state Rep. Sannie Overly of Paris.

“When I was talking to the party I made it clear, if you’ve got people who are interested in discussing this, you’ve got to talk to them,” Palumbo said. “I can’t speak for anybody. But it’s been brought to my attention that some of the other people being mentioned might have other ambitions.”

Grimes, for instance, is considering a run for U.S. Senate in 2014 and also has left open running for a different statewide office in 2015 when the secretary of state position is up for re-election.

About Ryan Alessi

Ryan Alessi joined cn|2 in May 2010 as senior managing editor and host of Pure Politics. He is now pursuing an advanced degree in non-fiction writing from Murray State University and is a regular contributor to Pure Politics. Ryan has covered politics for more than 14 years, including seven years as a reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader. Ryan can be reached at purepolitics@twcable.com or @mycn2 on Twitter.

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