The races for vice mayor, council. Here’s the breakdown of the 37 candidates running.

·7 min read

The race to become Lexington’s next vice mayor includes three current Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council members and one former council member.

In total, eight candidates filed to run in the at-large race. The top six vote-getters in the May 17 primary will move on to the November general election. A pending lawsuit challenging the newly redrawn state legislative House maps could trigger legislation that could push the primary back to August. No action has been taken on that legislation.

Tuesday was the filing deadline.

The top vote-getter in November will become vice mayor. The second and third place finishers become at-large council members and serve four years.

Current Vice Mayor Steve Kay, who has held the position for eight years, has reached his term limit and cannot seek another term.

The race for vice mayor also fields one of the most diverse slates of candidates in recent years. It includes two Black men, one Black woman and a Chinese-born immigrant.

Candidates in the at-large race are:

James Brown. Brown has served as the District 1 councilman since being appointed by then Mayor Jim Gray to the position in 2015. Brown has also previously served as president of the 16h District PTA and president of the Radcliffe-Marlboro neighborhood association. Brown is a real estate agent.

Chuck Ellinger II. Ellinger was elected to the at-large seat in 2018 after a four year hiatus. Ellinger served in the at-large position from 2003 to 2014. He unsuccessfully ran for the District 3 seat in 2014. Ellinger is a lawyer.

Bill Farmer Jr. Farmer is a familiar face in city government. Farmer served several terms as the District 5 councilman until he was narrowly be defeated by current Councilwoman Liz Sheehan in 2020. Farmer also previously served at-large and as a District 5 councilman. Farmer is the owner of Farmer’s Jewelry.

Arnold Farr. Farr previously ran unsuccessfully in the at-large race in 2018. Farr, a philosophy professor at the University of Kentucky, also sought a seat on the Fayette County School Board in 2020 but ultimately lost that race.

Lillie Miller-Johnson. Miller-Johnson ran unsuccessfully in the at-large race in 2018. She has also served as a supervisor on the soil and water conservation district. Miller-Johnson has worked in various positions throughout her career.

Matt Miniard. Miniard also ran unsuccessfully in the at-large race in 2018. Miniard is a real estate appraiser who has had his license suspended twice by state regulators. He has also been in trouble with law enforcement and has served time for domestic violence and assault.

Richard Moloney. Moloney is currently serving his second term as an at-large member, and was first elected to the at-large position in 2014. Moloney also served seven terms on the council from 1987 until 2007. Prior to returning to council in 2014, Moloney was chief administrative officer and held other positions in Mayor Jim Gray’s administration.

Dan Wu. Wu is the owner of Atomic Ramen and a first-time political candidate. Wu has served on numerous boards including LexArts, the Lexington-Fayette County Human Rights Commission and others. He has also created several public campaigns focusing on immigrant rights including: “I am a Kentuckian” and “Immigrants and Refugees Belong Here.” Wu was originally born in China and immigrated as a young child with his family to Kentucky.

Four council district races will have May 17 primaries.

Council at-large and district races are nonpartisan. Races with more than three candidates will have primaries on May 17. The top two vote getters will move on to the November general election. District council members serve two-year terms.

All 12 council seats will have contested races in 2022.

Council District 1

Council District 1 drew the most candidates for the open seat to represent much of the city’s East Side. Brown, who has held the seat since 2015, opted to run in the at-large race.

Four candidates have filed in that race:

Rashaan Berry. Berry is a member of the Lexington Police Department and has been active in the Police Athletics League. Berry was awarded police officer of the year in 2014 by the Fayette County Bar Association for his various efforts to bring community policing and violence prevention to areas in the city plagued by gun violence.

Doyle Warren. Warren is a retired minister having previously served as a minister of churches in Nicholasville and in Maysville. He has worked for IBM and has been a longtme precinct worker in Council District 1.

Tayna Fogle. Fogle is a community organizer with Kentuckians for the Commonwealth and has long been active in restoration of civil rights for convicted felons.

Mike Wilson. Wilson is a former council member and a minister.

Council District 4

J. “Brack” Marquette, a former director of government affairs for Columbia Gas, faces Brenda Monarrez, and Barry Saturday, who previously ran for the seat in 2014. It is an open seat.

Incumbent Councilwoman Susan Lamb, who was first elected to the position in 2014, announced last year she would not seek re-election. Council District 4 includes neighborhoods south of New Circle Road in the Tates Creek Road corridor.

Council District 5

Also facing a primary is incumbent Lexington Councilwoman Liz Sheehan, a University of Kentucky senior lecturer who defeated incumbent Farmer Jr. in 2020. Council District 5 includes Chevy Chase and many neighborhoods close to UK.

Sheehan faces lawyer Greg Ladd, who also served in former Gov. Matt Bevin’s administration, and Ami Hillenmeyer, a small business owner. Both are first-time candidates.

Council District 6

Three people filed to run for Council District 6, an open seat. David Kloiber, who was elected to the seat in 2020, has opted to run for mayor and will not seek re-election. Council District 6 includes neighborhoods off of Winchester Road in the Hamburg area.

Denise Gray, an educator who has worked in several Fayette County schools, will face Charlie Rowland and Christopher Shafer.

Eight council districts will have a general election

Council District 2: Incumbent Josh McCurn, who was first elected to council in 2018, is in real estate. He faces Shayla Lynch, a lawyer and executive director of the Ampersand Sexual Violence Resource Center of the Bluegrass. Council District 2 includes neighborhoods in the Georgetown Road and Newtown Pike corridor.

Council District 3: Hannah LeGris, who works at UK, and was first elected to the council in 2020. LeGris faces Kate Savage, an executive director of Arts Connect Lexington and former restaurant and catering business owner. Council District 3 includes much of downtown and now stretches south to include neighborhoods in the Tates Creek Road corridor.

Council District 7: Incumbent Preston Worley, a lawyer who was first appointed to the position in 2018, will face Joseph Hale, a resource analyst with with the state of Kentucky. Council District 7 includes neighborhoods between New Circle Road and Interstate 75 along the Richmond Road corridor.

Council District 8: Fred Brown, a retired accountant who is currently in his fourth term on council, previously served from 1994-2004. Brown will face challenger Kenya Williams. Council District 8 includes neighborhoods surrounding the Tates Creek school campus in South Lexington.

Council District 9: Incumbent Whitney Elliot Baxter, who is in real estate, will face James Lombardi, a retired Lexington police officer. Baxter was first elected to the seat in 2020. Council District 9 includes neighborhoods in South Lexington in the Reynolds Road area.

Council District 10: David Sevigny, the COO and founder of Volta, an IT company and a first-time candidate, will face Ross Man, a Lexington lawyer who originally filed to run for state Senate in the Republican primary but was redistricted out of the redrawn 12th state senate District. Council District 10 is an open seat. Councilwoman Amanda Mays Bledsoe, who was first elected to the seat in 2014, is running in the Republican primary for the 12th Senate District. Council District 10 extends south into the Beaumont area and north of Southland Drive.

Council District 11: Incumbent Jennifer Reynolds, who has worked in development and other positions for various nonprofits, will face Rock Daniels, a real estate professional and developer who unsuccessfully ran in Council District 3 in 2014. Reynolds was first elected to the position in 2018. Council District 11 includes neighborhoods near the Distillery District on Manchester Road to Alexandria Drive.

Council District 12: Incumbent Kathy Plomin, who has worked for various nonprofits and was a former executive at WKYT, will face Raymond Alexander, a Lexington police officer. Plomin was first elected in 2016.

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