Lexington mayoral primary is not to be taken lightly

Dalton Stokes

The Lexington mayoral primary is on May 22 and the general election is just around the corner on Nov. 2.

As current Lexington mayor Jim Gray steps down to seek higher office, we the people of Lexington are stricken with a tough decision.

As unimportant as these elections may seem to college students, the mayor of Lexington actually has a lot of influence over what happens on campus. For example, he or she has influence over where the annual budget goes and local legislation that can affect life in Lexington, both on and off campus.

Just take all the numerous murals around our city, including the mural of Abraham Lincoln downtown, “My Name is Mo” in the distillery district and the Louis Armstrong mural. These were the doing of Mayor Jim Gray in an effort to combat gang tagging, and the result is beautiful art we can all admire. This is an example of only a minor influence our current mayor has had on the city of Lexington.

Currently, there are seven mayoral candidates on the ballot and there is no public polling that has been released in this seven-way race. This race is highly significant, so it’s important that we recap some of the issues. More detail on the candidates can be found in an earlier Kernel article

Skip Horine is a Lexington citizen and has worked as the chief technology officer at Deborah Ball Realty. He graduated from Lafayette Senior High School. At a forum hosted on UK’s campus in journalism professor Buck Ryan’s JOU 101 class, Skip said that one issue that he would like to tackle is police corruption.

Ronnie Bastin has been a Lexington police officer since 1984 and was appointed as police chief in 2008 and public safety commissioner in 2015. He graduation from UK with a degree in criminal justice. Bastin responded to Skip Horine’s comment about police corruption in saying “We don’t have police corruption in Lexington, those allegations are unfounded.”

Teresa Isaac was mayor of Lexington from 2003 to 2006 and served as a member of the Urban County Council from 1990 to 1998. According to Ballotpedia she also has worked as a consultant of the U.S. Department of State, sent to train mayors and police chiefs in Chile, Argentina, South Africa and Pakistan.

This is the first open race for mayor since 2002. It is an important civic duty and privilege of long-time citizens as well as college students to influence the outcome of this election and the path of our city. I encourage you to exercise your democratic right and vote to help choose who will be our next leader.

For information regarding voter registration and voting locations visit the Fayette County Clerk website.