FRANKFORT — The number of minority public officials in Kentucky increased slightly from 2008 to 2009, but non-white elected officials still make up only 2.8 percent of those surveyed, according to a report released Friday.
The study, "United We Stand: Encouraging Diversity in Kentucky's Leaders," by Secretary of State Trey Grayson surveyed city and county governments, school boards, judicial positions and state elected positions. It found an overall increase of five non-white elected leaders from 2008 to 2009. In 2008 there were 136 minority leaders compared to 141 in 2009.
The gains came in the number of non-white mayors and school board members. Meanwhile, the number of minorities in the county and city council categories dropped by 11.
Twelve of the 21 elected official categories had no minority representatives. For example, there are no minority sheriffs or county clerks and no minority holds a statewide elected office.
Although there were overall gains, minorities are still under-represented in public office. They make up about 2.8 percent of the office holders but are 10 percent of Kentucky's population, the report showed.
With thousands of races on the ballot in 2010, Kentucky has the opportunity to increase those numbers, Grayson said. Interested candidates can begin filling on Nov. 4.
"Much like our previous reports, these statistics are a sobering reminder that our leadership in this state does not represent the diversity of our population," Grayson said.