Louisville activist Shawn Reilly announces 2012 run for Shaughnessy's open seat

11/16/2011 01:04 PM

Louisville Democrat Shawn Reilly, who is most known for campaigning against tolls on proposed bridges, told Pure Politics on Wednesday that he will run for next year’s open 19th State Senate seat.

He is the first candidate to declare his run for the 19th District, which will be vacated by Democrat Sen. Tim Shaughnessy. Shaughnessy, who has served since 1989, announced last week he wouldn’t seek another term.

Reilly co-founded the Say No to Tolls group that opposes that form of funding as a way to help pay for the Ohio River Bridges Project. He also has been involved in several local Democratic groups in Louisville.

In a statement, Reilly said he was already working on getting his campaign team together before filing for the seat.

“After talking with my wife, Stephanie, and some close friends I feel that now is the right time for me to seek public office by running to replace Sen. Shaughnessy in the 19th District,” Reilly said. “Although I have not filed for the election I will be putting together a campaign team and begin talking with neighborhood leaders, local elected officials and union members in the district to line up support for when I officially launch my campaign.”

At least one Republican, former state Rep. Bob Heleringer, has expressed interest in the seat. But he told Pure Politics he planned to wait to see how the district is re-drawn during redistricting before deciding whether to run.

Heleringer ran against Shaughnessy in 2008 and lost.

The deadline for filing to run for legislative seats in 2012 is set for the last Tuesday in January, which would be Jan. 31, unless the legislature pushes the deadline back to finish its redistricting.

-Reporting by Kenny Colston


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