Retiring former Speaker of the House Jody Richards says that education legislation was always his top priority

01/18/2018 04:52 PM

FRANKFORT – When former Speaker of the House Rep. Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green decided that he would not seek reelection in November 2018, it marks the end of a 42 year career in the Kentucky House of Representatives.

Richards, who first joined the General Assembly in 1976 and served a record 14 years as Speaker from 1995 to 2009, says that he just felt the time was right to call it a career at the end of the year.

“I still enjoy it, but I think it’s time for someone else to represent Bowling Green,” Richards said. “It has been a wonderful experience, the people have been so good to me to allow me to represent what I think is the best community in the state, and it’s been a wonderful time.”

Richards says that education legislation has been his priority since he joined the General Assembly.

“The changes in elementary and secondary education in 1990, that was, in my judgement, the most important bill in my lifetime,” Richards said. “Then, right after that in 1997, we did higher education reform. Both of those things were so important.”

As a long time member, Richards admits that he was hurt by the House sexual harassment scandal involving four House members which led to former Speaker Jeff Hoover resigning from that position.

“Because these people are friends and I don’t know anything about it but other than what I’ve read or seen in the media, but I hope in the future, people will bear that in mind when they come here,” Richards said.

Richards has not endorsed a candidate to be his successor and wasn’t sure as to whether he would in the future.


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