Shawn Reilly, left, campaigns against bridge tolls.

(Editor’s note: Guest blogger Curtis Morrison, a regular Insider Louisville contributor, is running for Louisville Metro Council’s District Eight seat against incumbent Tom Owen.)

By Curtis Morrison, Louisville Courant

When Tim Shaughnessy announced a week ago he would not be seeking reelection in District 19, it appeared that many young progressives might have an opportunity to get their voice heard in Kentucky’s state senate. Not so fast, though.

Following Say No to Bridge Tolls co-founder and financial advisor Shawn Reilly’s announcement via CN2 that he planned to seek Shaughnessy’s seat, Reilly’s phone call to Shaughnessy was returned.

Not with a “I’ll help you if I can” or even a “Glad you’re running,” but rather an “Everything I have to say was covered in my announcement in the Courier.”

That was odd. Dems don’t always support one another, sometimes with good reason. But phone calls to say absolutely nothing just seem so last century.

Then last night at the Metro Democratic Club meeting, former Congressman John Yarmuth staffer Marty Meyer approached Reilly to tell him, “You know you’re going to get drawn out of the district, don’t you?”

Reilly, who – perhaps naively – has faith in the Democratic Party and is about preserving party values, was surprised.

Reilly lives in the southwestern part of the District while Meyer – who had his own unsuccessful state senate run in 2010 for District 38 – purchased a home deeper within the Highlands earlier in the year. Meyer didn’t say whether he too will be gerrymandered out of the district, but I’m guessing he won’t.

The context for this exchange between Meyer and Reilly came following the same Metro Dem meeting in which Metro Councilman Rick Blackwell explains to the crowd essentially how the council maps were redrawn with the main objective of ensuring Metro Council District 6 remaines represented by an African-American.

This objective was in accord with fulfilling former Mayor/Lt. Gov.-elect Jerry Abramson’s promise that African-Americans would not be completely marginalized, at least in representation, by his precious merger of county and Metro governments.

If only these same Democrats would take up the cause of any of the other forgotten promises of merger with the same passion, we’d get somewhere.

No African-Americans that I could identify we’re present at said meeting, which was held at the regular meeting place for Metro Dems … the East End.