Lexington’s three candidates for Mayor faced off Thursday in a debate sponsored by the Lexington Forum. Incumbent Jim Gray was joined by challengers Danny Mayer and Anthany Beatty.
In a packed room at the University of Kentucky’s Hilary Boone Center, the contenders responded to questions prepared by the group’s board as well as from audience members.
All three were asked to name three or four top policy priorities. Incumbent Mayor Jim Gray cited goals he set early in his current term. "Three years ago," said Gray, "We set three goals: create jobs, create the environment for good jobs, run government efficiently and build a great American city."
Candidate Danny Mayer agreed with Gray on the need for job creation, with some reservations, saying, "The Rupp Arena project is something else that is gonna be weighing on our finances, so we need to limit the money that's going to those places and we need to start thinking about how we can generate other types of jobs."
Former police chief Anthany Beatty would put a focus on public safety, saying, "It pains me deeply that our city, on the lead stories from our friends in the media, there's another robbery, another homicide, another theft, another burglary."
The two top-ranking candidates following the May 20th Primary will compete for the Mayor’s office on the November ballot.
Thursday's debate during the Lexington Forum can be heard in its entirety Sunday evening at 7:00 on WEKU.