A political newcomer unseated a two-term councilwoman in the only contested Urban County Council race.
Sasha Love Higgins, 33, a hospitality professional and general manager of a Hampton Inn, received 55 percent of the vote with 100 percent of precincts reporting. Shevawn Akers, who was first elected in 2012, received 45 percent of the vote, according to unofficial election results.
The 2nd District is a rapidly growing and diverse area that includes Leestown and Georgetown roads.
Akers raised and spent more than Higgins, a first-time candidate. The race is nonpartisan. Akers is a registered Democrat. Higgins is a Republican, according to voter records.
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Higgins did not immediately return phone calls late Tuesday.
According to a Kentucky Registry of Election Finance report filed Oct. 24, Akers raised $12,475 during the general election race and had more than $8,753 left heading into Tuesday’s election. Higgins had raised $7,871 but had spent all but $902, according to Higgins’ late October report.
Higgins pledged to increase communication and transparency with 2nd District constituents. She also touted her business experience and her fluency in other languages — including Spanish — as a plus.
Higgins said she wanted the city to build partnerships with churches and other community groups to help more addicts get access to treatment and clean needles. She also wants to beef up job training and get a library branch in the 2nd District.
Akers focused on her record during the campaign. Akers also promised to continue to go after funds to make key infrastructure improvements in the district including getting money for trails and park improvements.
One of the most controversial issues the council will tackle in the next two years is the 2017 Comprehensive Plan, which guides development for Lexington over the next five years. There is already a push by some to expand the city’s urban service boundary, which restricts where development can go. The last time the boundary was expanded was in 1996.
Higgins told the Herald-Leader previously that she wants to hear more before deciding if the urban service boundary needs to be expanded.
“I think we have to build up first,” Higgins said. “But we are going to have to have some strategic conversations. We are going to have to have some sort of expansion eventually.”
Urban County Council (NP)
Sasha Love Higgins 4,802
Shevawn Akers 3,914