FRANKFORT — A longtime Democratic legislator from Jessamine County announced Tuesday that he won't run for re-election in 2014.
Rep. Bob Damron, D-Nicholasville, was first elected in 1993. In a written statement, Damron said he has decided to run for Jessamine County judge-executive after serving 21 years in the legislature.
Jessamine County Judge-Executive William Neal Cassity has announced that he won't seek re-election after his term expires in December 2014.
Damron, who sponsored 123 pieces of legislation that later became law, said the decision to leave the legislature wasn't easy.
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"I have truly enjoyed representing the people in the 39th District and serving in the Kentucky House of Representatives," Damron said. "But the opportunity to truly make a difference in the future of our county as its chief executive officer outweigh my passion for the state legislature."
Damron was the House Democratic caucus chair before being defeated by Rep. Sannie Overly, D-Paris, during the legislative session in January. He is perhaps best known for sponsoring bills aimed at protecting gun rights.
Damron represents Jessamine County and a portion of southern Fayette County.
The 39th district is relatively conservative and is likely to be targeted as a possible pick-up for Republicans in the 2014 election cycle. House Republicans have pushed to take control of the lower chamber. Democrats currently outnumber Republicans 55 to 45.
Damron said he has tried to reflect the values of the people he represents during his two decades in Frankfort.
"I've worked hard to be an effective voice for the people of Jessamine and Fayette counties, to stress fiscal responsibility and to ensure that state government remains responsive to the needs of all Kentuckians," Damron said.