The Louisville Democrat who survived an alleged assassination attempt carried out by a Black Lives Matter supporter earlier this year won the mayoral election on Tuesday, as the activist turned alleged gunman who remained on the ballot in a different city race despite being held in federal custody was overwhelmingly defeated.
Democrat Craig Greenberg, a 49-year-old Jewish businessman and political newcomer defeated Republican candidate Bill Dieruf, mayor of nearby Louisville, Kentucky, suburb Jeffersontown.
In February, Greenberg was with four of his staffers at his campaign headquarters in Louisville when 21-year-old Quintez Brown allegedly entered the building and opened fire toward the candidate.
No one was shot, but Greenberg said his sweater was grazed by a bullet.
Brown, a local activist, and former newspaper columnist involved in Louisville demonstrations following the death of George Floyd in 2020 remains in federal custody in connection to the attempt on Greenberg’s life.
Brown was initially sprung from jail by a BLM Louisville-supported bail fund that shelled out $100,000.
Ordered to remain on house arrest on the state attempted murder and wanton endangerment charges, he was later re-arrested on new federal charges and ordered to remain in custody ahead of trial.
But Brown’s name remained on the ballot Tuesday as an independent candidate running to represent Louisville Metro District 5, WAVE reported. Jefferson County Board of Elections said Brown still met the qualification for candidacy despite the charges because he is considered innocent until proven guilty.
Yet, incumbent Democrat Donna Purvis overwhelmingly defeated Brown with 88% of the vote, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported. In the wake of Election Day, the Democratic majority in Louisville’s Metro Council also slipped, as two Republican challengers picked up council seats.
In a victory speech Tuesday night, Greenberg alluded to the shooting while thanking his campaign team, some of whom were with the candidate when the suspect allegedly opened fire with a handgun.
“We as a team have been through so much together,” Greenberg said. “Far more than most campaign teams ever want to go through together. To each of you, thank you for what you’ve given every day to this campaign.”
He said the attempt on his life in February strengthened his determination to reduce gun violence in Louisville. Kentucky’s largest city has seen a dramatic rise in crime since 2020’s protests and rioting.
Louisville’s police department is short hundreds of officers and faces mandated reforms by the federal government.
While campaigning, Greenberg evoked the police killing of Breonna Taylor. The Democrat pledged to build affordable housing units, improve public safety and restore transparency and confidence in government after the 26-year-old Black woman’s shooting during a police raid that launched months of unrest.
During the campaign, Greenberg also announced a plan to have guns seized by police rendered inoperable before they are given to Kentucky State Police for auction. State law requires confiscated guns to be sold at auction, with proceeds used to buy equipment for police. Greenberg said taxpayers spend millions to take illegal guns off the street, but many end up back in the hands of criminals.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.