Lexington mayoral candidates debate issues at WKYT

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - One week from Tuesday, voters will head to the polls for the primary election. And on Monday night, the three men running for Lexington mayor debated the city's biggest issues.

WKYT hosted a debate with incumbent Mayor Jim Gray, former police chief Anthany Beatty, and college professor Danny Mayer. Everything from Rupp arena renovations to minimum wage came up during the live forum.

Each mayoral candidate arrived ready for their first debate on live television together at WKYT. And then they dove right into some hot topics, like using public funds for the Rupp Arena renovation, a project Mayor Jim Gray is passionate about.

"This represents an opportunity for us to do what has been done in other cities and other urban areas right north of us in Columbus," said Mayor Jim Gray. "This is a model that's not new."

But the other candidates, Danny Mayer and Anthany Beatty, both said they can think of better ways to spend public funds than on that project.

Another topic was supported by all three candidates, and that's raising the minimum wage in Lexington. Each had similar reasons for supporting it just different ways of going about it.

"My platform calls for raising the minimum wage for city workers and hopefully for contracted out workers from the city to $15 an hour and a side issue with that would also be $12 part-time labor," said Danny Mayer.

Another question centered around a constant problem in the city which is homelessness.

"I would support any initiative that would increase the availability of affordable housing and get our homeless folks a place that's comfortable and safe and off the streets of Lexington," said Anthany Beatty.

Under strict time limits and hot lights, the moderator, WKYT's Bill Bryant, felt it was a smooth debate with lots of good answers for voters to think about.

"They answered the questions directly, and I thought there was civility tonight," said Bill Bryant. "And I think that says good things about Lexington and the campaign to come as we head into those tougher months in the fall."

The top two vote getters in next Tuesday's primary election will advance to the general election in November.

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