Editor's Note: Spectrum News 1 interviewed both Bill Dieruf and Craig Greenberg on Wed., May 18. Both interviews can be seen above. The interviews are back-to-back in their entirety. The are in alphabetical order therefore Dieruf's interview comes before Greenberg's interview.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Republican Bill Dieruf and Democrat Craig Greenberg cruised to victory in their respective primaries Tuesday and will square off in a November general election to determine the next mayor of Louisville.
Greenberg, an attorney and the former CEO of 21C Museum Hotels, emerged from a crowded Democratic primary to win with over 40% of the vote.
“This past year has been an amazing experience, even with some very difficult events, and I am better prepared than ever to help build the Louisville every neighborhood and every family deserves,” Greenberg said in statement.
In his victory speech Tuesday, he said he is eager to work with the other Democratic candidates for mayor. Shameka Parrish-Wright, an activist who was heavily involved in the protests against the police killing of Breonna Taylor, Jefferson Circuit Court Clerk David Nicholson, and Pastor Timothy Findley, Jr. finished behind Greenberg.
On the Republican side, Dieruf, who is currently the mayor of Jeffersontown, carried nearly 80% of the vote.
Greenberg will enter November’s general election as the favorite. Democrats outnumber Republicans by nearly two to one in Louisville.
But Dieruf said Tuesday night that he doesn’t believe his party label will hurt his chances.
“As mayor for the last 12 years, I have been non-partisan,” he said. “I have worked with Republicans and Democrats. I have worked with Democratic council members. I have worked with Republican council members. I have worked in Frankfort — so I am best suited to work with everybody come Jan. 1 as the Mayor of Louisville.”
When Greenberg launched his campaign in April 2021, he didn’t seem like the likeliest candidate to emerge from the Democratic mayoral primary. Louisville was less than a year removed from a summer of racial justice protests and the city’s current mayor — a white, former businessman named Greg — was falling out of favor. Could a white, former businessman named Craig win the Democratic Party’s nomination over Parrish-Wright, a leader of the 2020 protests, and Metro Council President David James, one of the city’s most powerful local politicians?
By the summer, the answer appeared to be yes. James dropped out of the mayor’s race and endorsed Greenberg, who reported a staggering fundraising total in the summer of 2021.
As more candidates entered the race, Greenberg remained ahead of the pack in both fundraising and endorsements.
In February, tragedy nearly struck when a man entered Greenberg’s campaign office and fired on him and several of his staffers. No one was injured, but the moment shook the race and led Greenberg’s campaign to double down on its public safety first message.
“Public safety was always my number one priority since I started running for mayor,” he told Spectrum News this month. After the shooting, he emerged with “an even stronger resolve to work day and night, work with folks across the entire city who want to be a part of the solution to implement proven methods to make Louisville a safer city.”
If elected, Greenberg has pledged to build 15,000 affordable housing units in Louisville, launch a universal pre-K program, and address systemic racism in the city.
For 11 years, Dieruf has served as mayor of Jeffersontown, an independent city inside of Louisville.
During the Republican primary, Dieruf argued that his experience running Jeffersontown uniquely positions him to take the helm at City Hall.
“As I have done in Jeffersontown, I can bring results to Louisville Metro when it comes to public safety, economic development, education and improved quality of life,” he says on his website. “Every person in this community is entitled to justice, safety, and prosperity. Louisville Metro falls short on those fronts today.”
Dieruf was the frontrunner throughout the campaign, out raising his three opponents by more than $350,000.
Like Greenberg, Dieruf says public safety is his number one priority. As mayor, he would also focus on economic development and education.