A woman of many firsts, Senator Denise Harper Angel has paved the way for other women to follow in her footsteps. Denise Harper Angel is a life-long resident of Louisville who learned the value of hard work at an early age. Being raised by her grandparents in the blue-collar Okolona area helped Denise form a deep appreciation for the working families of her city.
Denise attended Southern High School and the University of Louisville.
Prior to her election to the Kentucky Senate in 2004, Denise Harper Angel served as the first female Jefferson County Property Valuation Administrator (PVA) for 16 years. Prior to being elected PVA, she served as deputy PVA for 16 years and was awarded Outstanding Deputy PVA in 1989 and Outstanding PVA in 1996.
When Denise ran for the Kentucky Senate in 2004, she won her election with 78% of the vote, which was the largest margin of any contested state senate race that year. At the time she took her senate seat in Frankfort, Denise was the only woman in the Democratic caucus. There are currently three Democratic women serving in the senate and six women total.
She has been a champion of legislation to improve health care services and access in Kentucky as well as protection and public safety issues. Senator Harper Angel was the key sponsor of the legislation to ban the dangerous practice of texting while driving that passed the Kentucky General Assembly in 2010.
Senator Harper Angel has been a strong supporter of seniors and passed important Golden Alert legislation in 2008 that requires local media to report when an impaired adult, such as a person with Alzheimer’s, is reported missing. The program is similar to the Amber Alert program, in which cases of missing children are publicized so that more people will be on the lookout for the missing child.
Denise has been involved with her community as a volunteer and advisor in a variety of organizations. Currently she is a member of The Women’s Network of Kentucky, Southern High School Hall of Fame, Day Spring Government Liaison, Jefferson County Democratic Executive Committee, Metropolitan Louisville Women’s Political Caucus and serves on the Advisory Board for Emerge Kentucky. A strong advocate for women, Denise encourages young women to become involved in the political process.
Senator Harper Angel is the proud mother of two daughters Erica and Ashley-Paige.