FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Former Kentucky House Speaker Jody Richards has decided not to run for re-election this year.
Richards becomes the latest veteran House Democrat planning to give up his seat in a chamber now run by Republicans.
Richards, a Bowling Green Democrat, has been a House fixture for decades, and he played an important role in shaping Kentucky’s sweeping education reforms in 1990.
He served as House speaker from 1995 until early 2009, when he was unseated by fellow Democrat Greg Stumbo. Richards returned to a leadership post when he served as House speaker pro tem during the final two years Democrats controlled the House.
With Republicans in control of the House, several incumbent Democrats have signaled they won’t seek new terms. They include Representative Jim Wayne and Representative Steve Riggs of Louisville.