Longtime GOP state Rep. Danny Ford decides not to seek re-election in 2012

01/17/2012 04:35 PM

(UPDATED WITH VIDEO) State Rep. Danny Ford, a Mount Vernon Republican who is in his second stint in House GOP leadership, announced Tuesday he wouldn’t seek a 16th term this year.

Ford, who turns 60 in April, has represented the 80th House district since 1982, making him the longest serving Republican House member since 1900.

His district currently includes Lincoln, Rockcastle and part of Pulaski counties.

The new district map for the 100 House seats, which the House approved on Thursday, changes the boundaries of the 80th District to keep Rockcastle and add part of Madison County, then skirt along the Pulaski County line to pick up Casey County.

The district would favor a Republican. But Ford said Tuesday, it wouldn’t be him.

Last week, Ford’s speeches about redistricting offered a bit of foreshadowing about his decision. He opposed the House Democrats’ map that, among other things, placed eight Republican representatives in districts with other incumbents. But his remarks were tinged with reflection on his 31 years in the state House. And while the House was voting on the bill, Ford rose again to thank his constituents in Lincoln County, which would not longer be in the 80th District.

Ford served as minority whip from 1993 to 1994, then became the Republican floor leader from 1995 to 2000. His GOP colleagues elected him minority whip again in 2009.

Among Ford’s accomplishments were working to create the Kentucky Music Museum and Hall of Fame in Rockcastle County, and pushing for upgrades to Highways 27, 150 and 461, according to a release from the Republican House caucus.

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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