Incumbent 1st District Councilman James Brown will face challenger Jim Burton, a small business owner, in the only Lexington council district race in November.
Brown was appointed by Mayor Jim Gray in April after councilman Chris Ford resigned to become the city's social services commissioner. Because of when the vacancy occurred, a special election must be held Nov 3..
The filing deadline was 4 p.m. Tuesday.
The 1st District includes much of the city's East Side. It has attracted a lot of development in recent years but has struggled with high unemployment and poverty.
Never miss a local story.
Brown, 38, held various leadership positions in Fayette County schools and in his neighborhood association before his appointment in April. He spent five years as president of the Radcliffe — Marlboro Neighborhood Association and is president of the 16th District PTA. Brown also served on the school district's rezoning committee.
A graduate of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, Brown has been a real estate agent since 2001. Before that he worked 13 years for Toyota Manufacturing in Georgetown and also had worked at Lexmark and GTE.
Burton, 35, owns Claim Referral LLC, an independent insurance adjustment firm based in Lexington that just celebrated its 10th year. A Mount Sterling native, Burton attended Transylvania University and then moved back to Lexington in 2010. He is a member of the Martin Luther King Neighborhood Association.
"For the five years that I have lived on Martin Luther King I have asked the city for assistance," Burton said.
Instead of just complaining about crime problems in his neighborhood, Burton said, he wanted to be part of the solution.
"The police are doing everything they can, but they clearly need more resources to do their job," Burton said. He also said he wanted to make sure that all sectors of the 1st District, which stretches from Main Street to New Circle Road, are represented, and seek ways to engage more residents of the district.
"I want to make sure the needs of the 1st District are being met," Burton said.
The city is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on new playground equipment for Jacobson Park, yet there are parks in the 1st District that aren't safe, he said.
Brown said that since taking office in April, he was successful in getting $180,000 allocated in the city budget for much-needed repairs to the Morton House in Duncan Park. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and houses key social service groups including The Nest. Brown also pushed for the hiring of 75 additional summer youth workers, a program that gives teenagers jobs and training. He also successfully lobbied for additional money for an administrator to help oversee the youth workers.
Brown said he would like to continue to help people in the 1st District.
"My experience as a Realtor and as president of my neighborhood association, as well as my leadership in the PTA, makes me the best person to serve the 1st District," Brown said. "I think one of my best attributes is building relationships. Building relationships is key to establishing trust. Once you establish trust, people are willing to work with you."