Summer shootings become hot topic in Lexington mayoral race

Since June 21st, four people have been killed in shootings in Lexington and eight other people have been injured. The recent string of violence has now become a major issue in the mayor's race.

"This is about public safety," said Mayor Jim Gray, " it's not about politics."

Mayor Gray sat beside Police Chief Ronnie Bastin Monday afternoon, letting families know they're united in the search for shooters.

"Of course this cluster of shootings is troubling, deeply troubling, and it causes anxiety and distress," noted Mayor Gray, "but our citizens should know that unless you're involved in an illegal transaction or activity you have very little chance of being the victim of a random act of violence in Lexington."

WKYT Political Editor Bill Bryant knows the eight summer shootings could weigh on the minds of voters come this fall.

"Campaign strategists will tell you all the time that you need to be able to control the factors that you can and react well to things you cannot control," said Bryant, "nobody saw this crime issue coming."

Mayor Gray is running against a former Lexington Police Chief.

"The background that I have lends well to this, because I understand the nature not only of the types of crimes that are occurring, but all the community dynamics that come in to play," explained mayoral candidate Anthany Beatty.

Beatty believes a well-staffed and well-funded police force could keep shootings from spiking.

"This is not an indictment on the fine folks who work in public safety and throughout government," said Beatty, "we have many, many great employees. But it's certainly about how we facilitate them, how we staff them, how we support them."

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