Kentucky State Rep. Nima Kulkarni has once again defeated fellow Democrat Dennis Horlander in the Democratic primary in Jefferson County’s 40th District. Tallying the in-person as well as the absentee ballot votes, the Associated Press said that Kulkarni received 5,632 or 78.55 percent of the votes, while Horlander got 1,538 or 21.45 percent. Kulkarni has no opponent in the Nov. 3 general elections.
“Thank you, District 40,” Kulkarni, 40, wrote in a Facebook post. “I am humbled by your continued faith in me, and I’m ready to keep working to move our district forward!”
In 2018, Kulkarni, an immigration and employment law attorney in Louisville, challenged Hollander, who was in office for the past 20 years and has often run unopposed in this largely Democratic district.
According to a report in The Nation, Kulkarni has joined a working group on extending civilian oversight of the Louisville Metro Police in the aftermath of the Breonna Taylor shooting. She is also challenging racism and xenophobia. “The only way that we can get through this is by working together, for each other and the most vulnerable among us,” she told The Nation. “Our president can only think to divide us and make us distrust each other. It is a tactic that has been historically successful, but we do not have to repeat that history.”
Kulkarni was born in India and moved to the United States when she was six with her parents, Suhas and Surekha, and her brother Nikhil. The family owned and operated the 8 to 8 grocery store in Germantown, Kentucky, where the siblings worked delivering groceries.
Educated in the public school system in Louisville, Kulkarni is a graduate of Atherton high school and the University of Louisville, from where she received both her Bachelor of English and Master of Business Administration degrees. For her law studies, she went to the University of the District of Columbia’s Antioch (now the David A. Clarke) School of Law.
She is a member of both the Georgia and Kentucky Bar Associations, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and the Louisville Bar Association. She serves on the board of Community Foundation of Louisville, Louisville Public Media, the Indian Professional Council of Kentucky and the Beaded Treasures Project, which empowers refugee and underprivileged women in Louisville.
She is also a member Greater Louisville Outstanding Women (GLOW), Rotary Club of Louisville, and serves as County Ambassador for the Greater Louisville International Professionals (GLIP).
Kulkarni has received awards for her work as an attorney and was named a Business First 40 under 40 honoree in 2013.
She lives in the St. Joseph’s neighborhood of District 40 with her partner Raegan Maddox, and continues to volunteer with several service organizations and works on her non-profit, New Americans Initiative, dedicated to educating, engaging and building awareness of immigration and immigration-related issues in our community.