Coleman won't seek re-election as state representative

August 29, 2003|ANN R. HARNEY

HARRODSBURG - State Rep. Jack L. Coleman Jr. will vacate his seat in the Kentucky General Assembly at the end of 2004.

"I've been mulling it over for some time and I came to the conclusion that I think it's time," the Democrat representing the 55th district said Thursday.

Coleman, 49, will have served the district for 14 years when his term ends Dec. 31, 2004. He said he was making the announcement now because he wants to give anyone thinking about running for the job a chance to prepare.

He said he had enjoyed his service in the House of Representatives in Frankfort, and he feels his work in the investigation of Medicaid and the Kentucky Association of Counties and other agencies was worthwhile.


"There are positive things, but sometimes you need to step aside," he said. He also credited two men who gave him insight and time to work in politics.

"Joe Clarke was my mentor," Coleman said of the former Danville representative. "He really meant a lot to me."

And he praised his father, the late Jack L. Coleman Sr. who died in late 1997. "He meant a lot to me. He gave me time to focus on some things." Now that his father is not here, he has to devote more of his time to running Coleman's Lumber Yard.

"My constituents gave me time to be with my family when I needed to, but they expected me to do the right thing. I always felt like they respected me."

He agreed that his title had allowed him to accomplish work for his district. "The people brought those projects to me and were able to do a lot of them." He said that even when he made decisions that might oppose the Democratic leadership, "People kept telling me, 'you do the right thing.'"

Coleman's decision not to run again does not mean he is out of public service. "I want to stay involved with the community. I'll always have a kinship with my district, including Anderson County. In public service, there is always something to do."

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