Cities across Northern Kentucky have passed resolutions opposing Kentucky’s House Bill 50/Senate Bill 50, and the city of Bellevue added its name to the list of the bill’s detractors as city council members voted to oppose it Wednesday.
Proposed by Republican state senators in early January, the bills would require locally elected officials to declare party affiliation and participate in partisan primary and regular elections. All city official positions would be affected, including mayor, legislative members, city board members, school board members, and soil and water conservation officers.
“Making all of our city races be Democrats against Republicans is not a bad idea,” Bellevue Mayor Charlie Cleves said. “It is a terrible idea. Right now everyone votes for the best qualified person and a lot of times don’t know or care if you are an R or D.”
District 8 Kentucky state Sen. Gary Boswell, who is one of the sponsors of the bills, does not share Mayor Cleves’ opinion on the validity of nonpartisan elections.
“Some political offices that are non partisan are nothing but dog and pony shows,” Boswell said. “Candidates can hide their ideological views. Once they get elected their ideologies become apparent.”
As of March 3, House and Senate Bills 50 have been referred to Kentucky’s House of Elections, Constitutional Amendments and Intergovernmental Affairs Committee for study, revision and approval.