Lexington mayoral candidates take questions in forum

Three of the candidates for mayor of Lexington squared off in a forum Tuesday night, focusing on topics related to crime, social justice, and accountability.
Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 3:43 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Three of the candidates for mayor of Lexington squared off in a forum Tuesday night, focusing on topics related to crime, social justice, and accountability.

They answered questions about no-knock warrants, oversight on police, and affordable housing. These are topics at the top of the list for many voters.

We’ve shown you protests and calls for answers and solutions to crime, especially shootings and homicides in the city. More than 100 voters came to hear the plans to address issues including public trust in city leaders and law enforcement, and violence prevention.

With primary day just three weeks away, the race for mayor is heating up, especially for optics of crime, social justice and accountability.

“I’ve told people in government many times if what we’re doing is not focused on people, then we need to do it differently,” Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton said.

“That has to come from a directive from the top, to say this is our priority. To make sure that we are going to make sure each community is treated the same,” Councilman David Kloiber said.

“We have got to start thinking differently about how we police, and how we view public safety. And holistically and comprehensively, public health,” Adrian Wallace said.

Mayor Gorton and challengers Kloiber and Wallace answered questions about how they would handle crime. One of the bigger topics was their stance on flock cameras. Kloiber and Wallace stand against them.

“These cameras nationwide are a tool for police, for evidence. They’re not surveillance cameras, they take still pictures and it’s of license plates,” Gorton said.

“There’s no hard evidence that shows any connection between these cameras and any benefit to our community. These cameras are most likely going to be placed in communities that already are over policed,” Kloiber said.

“I believe there’s a lack of transparency, I don’t believe they are going to be used for what they say they are going to be used for. I believe we should know where they are. I believe it is a threat to our privacy and citizenship,” Wallace said.

Mayor Gorton continues to tout the city’s crime rates are lower compared to last year. Her opponents, say it is still a major issue.

“Intervention is the key in many parts of this. a lot of our youth today, don’t have a father in the home. They don’t have a positive role model. They really are following what they can find,” Gorton said.

“Homicides are up almost nine percent. Aggravated sexual assaults are up,” Kloiber said.

“We’ve got to focus on prevention, and intervention, and public health efforts. Group violence intervention. BUILD has been begging this city to bring GVI (group violence prevention) for years. If I’m mayor, I’ll bring it on day one,” Wallace said.

A fourth candidate running for mayor, William Weyman was not at the forum. Organizers said he did not respond to their invitation.

You’ll have another chance to hear from the candidates for mayor next month. WKYT and the League of Women Voters are hosting a mayoral debate on May 9 at Transylvania University.

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