Richmond mayor-elect eager to govern following historic win

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RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) - The City of Richmond has elected a new mayor. Robert Blythe defeated Jim Newby by more than 600 votes.

"I had considered years ago running for mayor. In fact, my mother had planted that seed," Rev. Robert Blythe said. He's worn many hats.

"So, I said five years from now you don't want to be sitting on the sofa saying I wonder what would have happened if you'd won."

Wednesday, he sat on his sofa the winner.

He's been a school teacher, a salesman, a commissioner, a professor and a preacher. Now, Robert Blythe will have a new desk at Richmond's City Hall as mayor.

This new seat, following a 16-year stint as a commissioner, makes Blythe the city's first African American mayor.

Rev. Robert Blythe: "I did not run for that reason, my color is an incidental. I ran because I felt I had something to offer the City of Richmond. I want, by being successful, to honor the elders who came before me who, probably, in their hearts and minds, could never even conceive of such. I want to honor the ancestors, particularly my mother. And then, I wanted to say to the teens and the children, the young people of our community, this door is open to you."

Blythe has some improvements around the city top-of-mind. Those are Water Street, downtown revitalization and he wants a center that's functional for all generations of Richmond.

"I ask for the assistance of the people of Richmond," he said, telling WKYT he wants citizens to feel comfortable calling the Mayor's Office.

Blythe's election comes after Mayor Jim Barnes announced in January that he would not be seeking a third term in office.

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