Jerry Abramson grew up working in his father’s three-aisle grocery store on South Preston Street in Louisville. There, he learned the importance of hard work, selfless service and community pride while stocking shelves and delivering groceries to his neighbors. These values continue to influence his career in public service.
After earning a business degree from Indiana University, serving in the Army, and receiving a law degree from Georgetown University, Abramson put his skills to practice in his hometown of Louisville. His passion for public service quickly led voters to elect him as mayor of Kentucky’s largest city by the time he was forty years old.
Visionary Mayor of Louisville
In twenty-one years as Louisville’s mayor, Jerry helped turn a struggling river city into a vibrant economic center. He understands that by working together and partnering with business, good paying jobs for Kentuckians will be created and retained. His unbounded enthusiasm for economic development became his calling card when recruiting companies and jobs.
Jerry served three terms as leader of the City of Louisville in the 1980's and 1990's, and then led the successful effort to unify city and county governments into a single, more efficient government. He was elected the first Mayor of Louisville Metro in November 2002 with nearly 74 percent of the vote, and represented its 700,000 citizens for two full terms.
Those eight years were marked by dramatic progress that helped Louisville earn the notable designation, "Most Livable Large City in America" from the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Record of Creating Jobs
Jerry’s record on job creation is unparalleled as Mayor. He led a $700 million expansion of the Louisville International Airport, which enabled the city to attract the package-sorting hub that supplies 23,000 jobs for the region and has transformed Louisville’s airport into the nation’s third busiest cargo port.
Over the last three years, Jerry has worked with Governor Beshear to continue to bring jobs and investment to Louisville and Kentucky. This includes working with Governor Beshear to create and retain jobs at Ford’s Kentucky Truck Plant and Louisville Assembly Plant, as well as at General Electric’s Appliance Park. Thousands of employees have good-paying jobs thanks to their efforts.
Improving Life for Kentuckians
Jerry has worked to improve various aspects of life in Louisville throughout his years of public service. He reduced the size of government by nearly twenty percent while improving the delivery of basic services; made citizens safer by connecting police, fire, EMS and other emergency responders in the region; transformed downtown into a vibrant, economic and tourism attraction; invested in parks and trails to help keep Louisvillians healthy; and rehabilitated multiple neighborhoods so citizens could have quality, affordable housing.
As lieutenant governor, Jerry would bring this same energy, passion and vision to the Capitol to help create a brighter future for all Kentuckians.
Jerry is currently an executive in residence at Bellarmine University and lives with his wife Madeline in Louisville. They have a son, Sidney.