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Q&A: Richmond mayoral candidates agree on little

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Over the Halloween weekend, candidates everywhere are knocking on doors; but, they are not looking for candy, they are looking for votes. That is true in Richmond where Mayor Connie Lawson is facing a tough challenge from a former city commissioner, Jim Barnes.

To get a better look at the dynamics of the mayoral race, we spoke with both candidates to get their answers on a few questions concerning Richmond and its government.

First, we asked Lawson and Barnes, "What is the most important issue facing Richmond today?"

"As of today, I think the financial status of the city is of major concern, as it is in probably a lot of cities. Our expenditures are outweighing our income," Barnes said.

"To continue to look for jobs - good jobs. We have a lot of jobs coming in right now. We're very excited. But, jobs are the things that make the taxes get paid," said Lawson.

Richmond is one of the fastest growing cities in Kentucky. So, we asked the candidates how they feel about the future of Richmond. Both agreed Richmond has a bright future.

"I'm told all the time that Richmond is one of the best kept secrets in Kentucky, and with having just secured a new industry and their comments and the new Centrepoint shopping mall, I think we all know that this is true. Richmond is going and growing," said Lawson.

"I think the future of Richmond is very bright. I think with the growing community we have and the growing retail sector and with the university of fifteen to sixteen thousand student, yearly, and the proximity to Lexington and neighboring counties, I think the future of Richmond is very bright," said Barnes.

The candidates had different definitions of good leadership as it pertains to leading a city like Richmond.

"Good leadership is someone who is honest, people believe in, believes in people, allows people to do their job, and just has a lot of faith in everybody else, too," said Barnes.

"Good leadership is someone that makes themselves available to the community. I believe that if someone wants to call me - no matter what the problem is - they know they can call me. My duty as a mayor of the city of Richmond is to take any and all complaints and positives back to the city manager and let him work with the department heads. He is the daily manager. I'm just the spokesperson for the city," said Lawson.

Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 2.


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