Editor’s Note: The candidate forum was canceled due to a power outage and is being rescheduled on March 6, and will include additional candidates who are filing before the March 3 deadline.
When one door closes another one opens. That’s the case in Louisville, where six candidates are competing for a spot to replace outgoing council member Cassie Chambers Armstrong who recently won a seat in the state Senate replacing Louisville Congressman Morgan McGarvey.
Candidates are appearing before the Louisville Metro Council on Monday night to explain why they want to be the District 8 Council member. The District 8 Advisory Board have allotted four minutes to ask questions of each candidate.
Candidates include LaDonna Johnson, Michael Lucchese, Marty Meyer, Ben Reno-Weber, Taylor McGovern-U’Sellis, and Larry Bisig.
Biographies of each candidate are continued below.
LaDonna is a Kentucky native who grew up in the west end of Louisville and has resided in District 8 for more than 20 years. She currently lives in the Cherokee Triangle neighborhood. She attended Western High School, received her bachelor’s degree from Eastern Kentucky University, a master’s from Walden University, and a Rank l from Indiana Wesleyan University.
Currently Mrs. Johnson has a scholarship in her name at Spaulding University and Benedict College, a HBCU in Columbia, South Carolina. She is also a board member of the University of Louisville School of Business and is an active member of the NAACP. She also donated funds to pay the tuition for a deserving student at St. James Catholic School.
Her civic endeavors include volunteering at St. Paul Baptist Church’s school supply program, The Imagination Library book program, and SOS Supplies Over Seas.
Michael is a near-lifelong resident of District 8, currently residing with his wife, Laura, and GRRAND rescue pup, Cody, in Cherokee Triangle.
Michael grew up in Deer Park where he attended St. Agnes School, graduated from Louisville Male High School, and received a Mathematics degree from Centre College. After college, Michael moved to Tyler Park and started his career as an actuary at Humana. Currently, he is consulting at Aon as a Strategic Account Executive.
Michael is an Olmsted Park Steward, serves as a trustee on the Cherokee Triangle Association, and is a member of Friends of Bardstown Road.
Marty Meyer is a partner and SVP of Political Campaigns and Corporate Outreach for El Toro IP Targeting with years of experience in politics, government Affairs and public relations.
He grew up in a political family, his great uncle was a state representative for 20 years and his father served two terms as an Louisville Alderman and five terms in the state senate. He served as District Representative for Yarmuth’s first two terms served as chief of staff to newly elected Metro Louisville Councilman David Yates during his 1st term in office.
Marty has served on several boards including Chair of Kentucky Fairness Alliance, Fairness Campaign, Louisville Re-Entry Task Force the Kentucky Re-Entry Task Force and the Legislative District Chair D31 of the Louisville Democratic Party.
Ben is a Highlands native. He and his wife have three kids attending Hawthorne Elementary and Highland Middle.
After years of working with large out of state organizations, Ben return to Louisville to run the YMCA programs where he started a program with Metro Council called Metro Youth Advocates.
Ben has run nonprofits like the YMCA and the Greater Louisville Project that helped empower people’s voices with data and access. He grew a tech company called MobileServe that connects volunteers and nonprofit service opportunities. That company employs people in living wage jobs in Louisville while serving more than 400 organizations across the country. Ben ran a public private partnership with the Metro Government and Microsoft that helped equip hundreds of people here in Louisville with the data skills they will need to respond to a changing economy.
Taylor was born and raised on Bonnycastle Avenue in the Highlands. She attended Bloom Elementary School (where her children now go) and Highland Middle School before going to duPont Manual High School and Centre College. She completed graduate degrees at both the College of Charleston in South Carolina and the University of Louisville. Her career has been dedicated to helping non-traditional and marginalized students get access to higher education, both at Jefferson Community and Technical College and the University of Louisville.
She believes community is where our power lies so she serves on the board of both the UofL Early Learning Center Family Organization and the Bloom Elementary Parent Teacher Association. She volunteers for the Friends of Beechwood Park and founded the Parenting Network at UofL. During COVID, she volunteered in eviction court and organized around police accountability and transparency with The 490 Project. She is currently participating in the Emerge KY 2023 class.
She lives in the Tyler Park neighborhood with her husband, Brian, who works for the Coalition for the Homeless.
A Louisville native and St. X graduate, Larry is the founder of Bisig Communications, and currently the chair of Bisig Impact Group, developer of the Bisig Center and the founder of the Bisig Radio Network.
Larry has founded and chaired numerous local events including the Reggae Festival, Save Mercy Academy, Blues and Barbeque Festival, Water Tower Music series and Louisville Sports Commission.
He was the director of marketing for John Y. Brown Enterprises.
The Metro Council will name Cassie Chamber Armstrong’s replacement.