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Gray Backs Gorton In The Homestretch

Josh James

With less than two weeks to go before Election Day, former Vice Mayor Linda Gorton has scored a key endorsement from sitting Mayor Jim Gray. But Gorton's opponent says he's racked up a longer list of formal supporters.

The announcement comes on the heels of Gray’s endorsement of current Vice Mayor Steve Kay. Asked why now and why these candidates, the outgoing mayor said it’s important to leave projects launched under his administration in good hands.

"I think the future of the city is so important. The projects that are underway today are so important that we need someone who has the kind of experience with these major initiatives," Gray told reporters. 

Quizzed on whether the high-profile support will aid at the ballot box, Gorton said Gray is a "very popular man right now and I'm just so honored and pleased to have his endorsement. I think when leaders in our community give their endorsement, it makes a large statement."

The mayor worked closely with both candidates and said the decision was “not an easy one, but the right one.” Gray promoted Gorton's rival, Ronnie Bastin, from police chief to public safety commissioner in 2014.

The Bastin campaign responded with a statement saying he leads in endorsements. Bastin also has the backing of former mayors Jim Newberry and Teresa Isaac. 

"I was looking for their leadership skills and... their commitment to diversity," Isaac told WUKY earlier this month. "So I respect both of their leadership abilities, but I gave Ronnie more points for diversity."

In the media release, Bastin described himself as the "people’s candidate," adding, "You can see this clearly when you look at the fact that I have received every major organizational endorsement or recommendation. From city workers to civil rights activists, the people want to be put ahead of politics, they know I have their back." 

Gray pointed to experience at the key factor that swayed him toward Gorton. 

"No one works harder," he said. 

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.
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