The Lexington forum hosted the first debate for the city’s mayoral primary.
A large crowd packed into the University of Kentucky’s Boone Faculty Center to hear from the city’s three mayoral candidates. They spoke about a variety of topics, including crime, infrastructure, and city services. Incumbent Jim Gray focused on downtown developments and his ability to bring jobs to Lexington.
“I know about business recruiting. I know about jobs recruiting. This is a model that fits for us. Will there be some short-term pain in order to get long-term gain? Of course there will. That’s what good management is all about. It’s about dealing with the problem, working through them, but seizing the opportunity to allow us to grow and give people in our community opportunity,” he said.
By contrast, Professor Danny Mayer of Bluegrass Community and Technical College prioritized infrastructure and developing the suburbs.
“When I’m in neighborhoods and talking to people, what they say is “yeah, we’re glad we don’t have cars coming through here, but we sure wish we had bike access, we sure wish we had access to a place to go get a beer or something to eat or a hardware store.” We need to invest in those places,” he explained.
Finally, former police chief Anthany Beatty Sr. stressed a fiscally responsible increase in police officers, both to build public trust and reduce the crime rate.
“We do know that you have a chance of being a victim of violent crime in Lexington than you did a few years ago, so we regressed in what we are doing in terms of making Lexington safe." he said.
The mayoral primary takes place on May 20th, with the top two candidates advancing to the general election.