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It's A Different Job From The One She Signed Up For. But Linda Gorton Is Ready For Round Two.

City of Lexington

Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton is getting a head start on the 2022 mayor’s race by being the first to announce she’s in.

The long-serving Lexington leader, known for her calm, steady-as-she-goes demeanor, says she made the decision after months of queries from supporters regarding her future plans. At the Tuesday announcement, Gorton also offered a hint of how she plans to campaign, citing her leadership during both the pandemic and an era of social and political unrest.

"We still have work to do with the recommendations from the commission on racial justice. We are still in this pandemic and we are so focused on these kinds of things that are outside the bounds of regular service to our community," she told media. 

Gorton, who cruised to victory against former Police Chief Ronnie Bastin in 2018's quiet, low key mayoral race, said she anticipates challengers next year. As for whether to expect a more lively contest this time around, she said that remains to be seen.

"Whether the mask issue and vaccines and all of that will create a more heated campaign, I don't know the answer to that but what I do know is I'm a nurse, and there's a reason nurses who work in certain areas of the hospital mask," she said. "And it's unfortunate that things like masking and distancing have become so controversial because they really are based in science." 

Gorton ordered a return to universal masking in city government buildings last week as COVID-19 cases continued to mount in Fayette County. 

The last two years have placed a host of new demands on city government, the incumbent said, adding that her administration has weathered the storms through prudent fiscal management and a collaborative approach to governing.

Lexington mayoral candidates can begin officially filing in November.

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.