Jon Winston Ackerson (born 1943) is a lawyer and Republican politician from his native Louisville, Kentucky. Ackerson represented District 30 in the Kentucky House of Representatives from 1976 to 1977 and again from 1984 to 1997. In the interim, he was from 1978 to 1983 the District 34 member of the Kentucky State Senate, also based in Jefferson County.
Ackerson is one of three children of Louis E. Ackerson (died March 1984) and the former Sara M. Romans. His brother, Robert Louis "Bob" Ackerson (1934-2008), was also a Louisville lawyer and an Episcopalina. These Ackersons are interred at Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville. His sister, Mary Beth Ackerson (born 1936), worked in the health services industry. Ackerson graduated from the Methodist-affiliated University of Indianapolis in Indianapolis, Indiana, and the University of Louisville School of Law in Louisville. He practices law in the firm of Ackerson & Ackerson.
In 1978, Ackerson persuaded his seven Senate Republican colleagues to hire the young Louisville attorney Bob Heleringer as their administrative assistant. Heleringer, the son of a Louisville furniture dealer and the grandson of a horse trainer, subsequently served in the Kentucky House from suburban Louisville from 1980 to 1991. Ackerson himself left the Senate after the Democratic majority in 1982 moved his district to rural southeastern Kentucky, including Clinton and McCreary counties near the Tennessee state line. Ackerson objected to the redistricting on grounds that 96,000 suburban constituents would no longer have local representation. He instead returned to the Kentucky House. From 1999 to 2002, Ackerson served on the Jeffersontown City Council in Jefferson County but relinquished the position to run unsuccessfully in the nonpartisan election for mayor held on November 5, 2002.
In 2008, Ackerson came out of political retirement to win the District 18 seat on the Louisville Metro Council. He defeated Ellen L. Reitmeyer, a figure in the local Republican Party, for the right to succeed the retiring council member Julie Raque Adams. Reitmeyer had been a legislative aide to Adams. The Democratic candidate for the seat, Mike Perkins, cited a lack of funding and withdrew to leave Ackerson without opposition. From 2009 to 2012, he served alongside his son, attorney Brent Thomas Ackerson, a Democrat, who represents District 26 on the Metro Council. Brent and his brother, Marc Alan Ackerson, are sons by Jon Ackerson's former wife from whom he was divorced, the former Patricia Ormerod (1944-2012). She is interred beside her family at Evergreen Cemetery in Louisville.
Ackerson's second wife is Kay B. Ackerson, formerly Kay Meurer, the former wife of businessman Gerald Meurer. She is a real estate broker who earlier served for three terms on the Jeffersontown City Council. Early in his term on the Metro Council, Ackerson became the subject of media interest when his office aide, Sherlon R. Worthington, abruptly left the position after having accused Mrs. Ackerson of interfering with her own duties. Worthington wrote that Mrs. Ackerson "came in my office and asked me what my problem was. I told her she was my problem."
From 2004 to 2007, Ackerson was a director of the Kentucky Employers' Mutual Insurance Authority during the administration of Republican Governor Ernie Fletcher. Ackerson is considered a Moderate Republican, but he supported Rand Paul for the United States Senate in the 2010 election. In 2011, Ackerson endorsed the reelection of Democratic Governor Steve Beshear for a second term. Beshear unseated Fletcher in the 2007 campaign. Beshear subsequently appointed Ackerson to represent employers on the Unemployment Insurance Commission for a term extending from January 1, 2013, to October 26, 2016.
In 2012, Ackerson lost his primary election for the Metro Council seat by 37 votes (1,306 to 1,269) to Marilyn Parker, a favorite of the Tea Party movement, who subsequently carried the general election as well. Like Ackerson, Parker supported Paul for the Senate in 2010. Ackerson had formerly attended Tea Party meetings and expressed surprise that the group had moved against him in favor of Parker.