Katie Howard, who was a runner-up in the race for the Republican nomination for the state Senate District 7 seat, passed away at the age of 68 late last month per a report from The Anderson News and her obituary.
Howard garnered 3,157 votes (27%) to eventual officeholder Adrienne Southworth, R-Lawrenceburg, who won with 3,701 votes (31%). Southworth went on to beat Democrat challenger Joe Graviss by 9.5 percentage points.
The Anderson News reported that Howard was “instrumental” in founding the Anderson County Republican women’s group, of which she was president. Howard was also a volunteer in one of U.S. Representative Andy Barr’s re-election campaign, she told The State Journal in 2019.
A cause of death was not noted in Howard’s obituary.
At an event held on the state Capitol steps titled “Unmask Kentucky,” whose participants railed against COVID-19 restrictions and Gov. Andy Beshear, Howard appealed to the more than 100 attendees to run for local elected office.
“It all starts from the ground up,” Howard said. “Influence has to start with school boards, our magistrates, city councils.”
As a candidate in the GOP primary, Howard emphasized education and helping businesses, among other things.
When asked during what legislative committee she’d like to serve on, she identified education.
“We put much emphasis on bringing high-paying jobs to the state, developing our workforce, and making sure post-secondary education is available for all,” Howard said. But if kids cannot read and write, and our test scores don’t prove it, we are not going to attract high-paying jobs. The field of education is ripe for transformation and innovation... I hope to be able to influence that reinvention.”
Howard was vocal at Anderson County School Board meetings, often lobbying against Critical Race Theory.
In a statement sent to The Anderson News, Anderson County Attorney Rob Wiedo noted Howard’s “very impressive” work with the Republican Women’s Club.
“I thought very highly of Katie Howard and I was very sorry to hear of her passing,” Wiedo said. “Katie was a strong conservative Republican. I was very impressed with her Republican Women’s Club and the work that she did. My heartfelt sympathies go out to her family.”
Howard was also Open Hands Food Pantry in Lawrenceburg, a member of Ninevah Christian Church and was secretary of the Lawrenceburg Rotary Club, per her obituary.
Howard was born in New York City and later worked as a public relations executive in Chicago, retiring in 2008 before moving to Lawrenceburg.
Howard’s obituary states that a memorial service will be held at Ninevah Christian Church on Sunday at 2 p.m.