FRANKFORT — Former Frankfort Mayor Bill May regained the office he last held from 1996 to 2009.
In unofficial results, with all 31 precincts reporting, May took 57 percent of the vote Tuesday. Challenger Kyle Thompson, a Frankfort lawyer and former assistant county attorney, drew 43 percent.
May, 53, will succeed H. "Gippy" Graham, a former state representative who succeeded May in 2009. Graham did not seek re-election.
May served three straight terms as mayor and was prohibited by law from running for a fourth. He then served four years on the City Commission.
Never miss a local story.
"I'm humbled by this after being in city government for so long, and folks putting me back in to give me another term as mayor," May said.
The city commission will have three new members: Voters returned only one incumbent, Katie Flynn Hedden. The new commissioners are Robert E. Roach, Tommy Haynes and Lynn Bowers, who had previously been on the commission.
"Hopefully we'll see some good things with these new commissioners and just pull the community back together," May said. "It's time to get past the campaign. ... People liked what I'd done previously. I will follow up with constituents, return phone calls and emails, and go meet with neighborhood groups."
Thompson, 36, who made his first race for public office, acknowledged that it was tough to go up against May's name recognition.
"I think we gave voice to a lot of people in Frankfort that hadn't had one in a while," Thompson said.
Asked whether he will run again, Thompson said: "I think I have a lot of time to think about what I'm going to do next. I want to focus on my family and my practice right now and go from there."
Issues in the race included job creation, the crime rate, the town-gown relationship with Kentucky State University, and a scandal in which a former city transit director was accused of stealing surplus property and running up personal purchases on a city credit card.
Frankfort, population 25,500, has a $32.5 million general fund budget and about 291 full-time and 100 part-time employees. The city also has a $9 million reserve.