Rep. Jody Richards will not seek re-election after forty-year career

Speaker Pro Tempore of the Kentucky House of Representatives Jody Richards, right, answers a question during his debate with Bowling Green City Commissioner Melinda Hill, left, who is running against him, at the ‘Debate in the District’ hosted by the Bowling Green Daily News on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016, at La Gala.

Bowling Green State Rep. Jody Richards (D) announced earlier this morning he will not seek re-election to the 20th District House, the Bowling Green Daily News reported

Richards served as Speaker of the House from 1995 to 2008, according to his bio on the Kentucky Legislature website. He currently serves on a number of different committees such as education, appropriations and revenue and state government. 

“It has been an unbelievable honor to represent the wonderful Bowling Green-Warren County community in the Kentucky General Assembly for more than 42 years,” Richards said in a statement released this morning. “I believe the secret of our success is that our local and state officials and our educational and business leaders have worked so well together to make this the best community anywhere. 

“On a more personal note, I want to extend the warmest thanks to the voters of the 20th District for allowing me to represent them in state government for so long. It has meant the world to me.”

In May 2017, Mass Media and Technology Hall was officially renamed Jody Richards Hall, in honor of Richards. He served as a member of the journalism faculty for seven years.

Additionally, he was the faculty adviser for the College Heights Herald and Talisman and helped create the Alumni Magazine.

Gary Ransdell, serving then as WKU president, spoke at the renaming ceremony, and said Richards always asked, “What can I do to help?”

“He was always our champion,” Ransdell said of Richards.

Ransdell also said Richards was instrumental in helping secure funding for higher education and helped secure funding for several WKU buildings, including Gary Ransdell Hall, Ogden College Hall and Mass Media and Technology Hall.

“He liked to compete, and he competed for us,” Ransdell said.