Rep. Lonnie Napier won't seek 15th term in House, supports Garrard Co. Development official

02/01/2012 07:35 AM

After 27 years of colorful floor speeches, Republican Rep. Lonnie Napier of Lancaster has decided not to run again for the state House.

Instead, Napier, 71, has thrown his support in the race to Nathan Mick, Garrard County’s economic development director.

“I have known and worked with Representative Lonnie Napier for well over a decade. I thank Representative Napier for his service in the Kentucky State House of Representatives. He has served District 36 well and I am grateful for his endorsement,” Mick said in a statement.

Mick filed Tuesday in the 36th House District, which covers Garrard and Lincoln counties in the new House district map that is under a legal challenge. Republican David Meade of Stanford also has filed for the seat. One Democrat — Larry Woods of Lancaster — also is running.

Napier developed a reputation as a fierce promoter of Garrard County and his constituents. He pushed for a state park his home county and would often vote with the majority Democrats on budget and spending plans even when many of his fellow Republicans wouldn’t.

Over the last two sessions, the legislation Napier proposed that got the most attention was his bill to allow the state to drug test people who receive public assistance, such as Medicaid health coverage or food stamps.

The 36th District is now the 16th open seat in this year’s state House elections after a series of retirements by incumbents from both parties. Four representatives aren’t seeking re-election so they can run for state Senate seats and several incumbents were drawn into a district with another incumbent in the newly-crafted map.

Those maps face a court challenge, and as a result, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes extended the candidate filing deadline to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7.


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