- David L. Armstrong
David L. Armstrong Born August 6, 1941
Hope, Arkansas, U.S.A.
Occupation Attorney, judge, politician Title Mayor of Louisville Term 1999-2003 Predecessor Jerry E. Abramson Successor position terminated Political party Democratic Party
David L. Armstrong (born August 6, 1941) was mayor of Louisville, Kentucky from 1999 to 2003.
Armstrong was born in Hope, Arkansas. Prior to becoming mayor, he had served as Jefferson County Judge/Executive since 1989. He was raised in Madison, Indiana. He attended Hanover College, where he became a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity, before graduating from Murray State University in 1966. He earned a J.D. from the University of Louisville school of law in 1969. Armstrong then worked in the public and private sector, including a term as a family court judge and election as Jefferson County's Commonwealth's Attorney, the local felony prosecutor. In 1983 Armstrong was elected Attorney General of Kentucky. He ran unsuccessfully for Lieutenant Governor in 1987, losing in the Democratic primary to Brereton C. Jones.
Armstrong was technically the final mayor of the City of Louisville. The city was merged with Jefferson County near the end of his term; Armstrong was a supporter of the ballot measure that brought about the merger.
His term had several successes, most notably his support for the revitalization of Downtown Louisville. Some of the projects he championed were expansions of the medical district, a $111 million Marriott hotel, Fourth Street Live! and Louisville Glassworks. The Louisville Extreme Park was one of his signature accomplishments as Mayor.
Armstrong's term as mayor was marked by several controversies. Several NBA teams at least considered a move to Louisville during his term, but nothing materialized. Armstrong was criticized for not exploring the possibility of a downtown arena for such a team, although Armstrong rebutted that he shouldn't have been singlehandedly expected to lure a franchise to Louisville. Nevertheless, some, including members of the city's NBA pursuit team, blamed Armstrong for a lack of leadership on the issue.
Perhaps his most notable controversy was the firing of Police Chief Gene Sherrard. Sherrard, without the mayor's knowledge, had approved valor awards for two officers involved in a deadly shooting with racial overtones. The officers had been cleared of charges in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man, Desmond Rudolph. The firing won praise from the African American community, but enraged police officers and supporters, leading to a march on Louisville City Hall.
He did not run for mayor of Metro Louisville, where he would have been a heavy underdog to Jerry Abramson. In early 2007 Armstrong stated that he was considering a campaign for Governor of Kentucky, though he eventually chose not to run.
- Rodriguez, Nancy (2002-12-15). "Dave Armstrong; In four years as mayor, he helped reshape downtown but was dogged by controversy". Courier-Journal. p. 1A.
- FRANCIS X. CLINES , "Protesting by Angry Police Leaves Louisville Unsettled", NY Times, Section A, Page 12
Political offices Preceded by
Jerry E. Abramson
Mayor of Louisville, Kentucky
January 1, 1999–January 5, 2003
Legal offices Preceded by
Harvey I. Sloane
Jefferson County Judge/Executive (Kentucky)
Attorney General of Kentucky
Commonwealth's Attorney for Jefferson County, Kentucky
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