The combination of money and name recognition prevailed in the race for Urban County Council-at-large seats.
Five of the top six fund-raisers in the nine-candidate field were among the top vote-getters in Tuesday's non-partisan primary in Lexington.
The six candidates who move on to the November general election are Chuck Ellinger II, Linda Gorton, Steve Kay, Kathy Plomin, Don Pratt and George A. Brown Jr. They will square off for three at-large seats. Only Pratt was not among the top money-raisers.
Newcomer Ralph Ruschell, 57, a real-estate developer, was eliminated despite being No. 2 in the money race. Rushell, who raised$25,050, came in seventh.
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The candidate receiving the most votes in November becomes vice mayor.
The top two vote-getters in Tuesday's primary were incumbents Ellinger and Gorton.
Ellinger, 46, an attorney, garnered the most votes. With $22,860 raised as of May 3, Ellinger was third in the money race. ''It feels good," he said after the polls closed. "It's a good start."
Ellinger is running for his third term as at-large council member. "We'll enjoy tonight and get back to working hard tomorrow," he said. "It's 168 days to the general election. There's a lot to do."
Gorton, 61, a registered nurse running for her second at-large term, was the second highest vote-getter. Gorton raised $19,625, the fourth-highest amount of money.
"I'm a pretty common-sense person. I work hard, stay calm, work through problems," she said, speculating that those qualities had resonated with voters.
Newcomer Kay, 67, an organizational consultant, was the top fund-raiser with $40,953. He rounded out the top three.
Pratt, 65, a retired grocery store owner, raised less than $750 for his campaign. "You don't have to file a report with the Registry of Election Finance unless you raise $1,000," he said.
"I was staying under that $1,000 amount on the principle that elections shouldn't be purchased," he said. Raising a large amount of campaign funds "is no different than buying an election," Pratt said.
Brown, 61, who raised $1,000 and finished sixth in the money race, was the final candidate to make it into the six-person field. Brown served six terms 1st District councilman. His last year in office was 2006.
Getting back into the political fray, Brown said, he found the political climate "interesting and different." A contract supply chain coordinator at the University of Kentucky, Brown said, "It's clear, we've got our work cut out for us."
In addition to Ruschell, not making the cut in Tuesday's primary were Ismael Shalash and Christopher Hignite.
council at large
Top six advance to general election:
Chuck Ellinger II 26,176
Linda Gorton 25,216
Steve Kay 17,152
Kathy Plomin 15,075
Don Pratt 13,739
George A. Brown Jr. 11,979
Ralph Ruschell 5,515
Ismael Shalash 3,554
Christopher Hignite 3,350
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