Three candidates are running for Urban County Council in the primary for the open position in Lexington's 6th District. Two stand out as deserving to advance to contest the spot in the November's general election: Darren Hawkins and Angela Evans.
The district — currently represented by Kevin Stinnett, who is running for an at-large council position — occupies a large swath bounded generally on the west and east by New Circle Road and Interstate 75, and on the north and south by Paris Pike and Todds Road.
It is a diverse district, and the two bring quite different sets of knowledge, experiences and strengths that could benefit the district and the city on the Urban County Council.
Hawkins, who is in a second career in real estate sales after retiring with 20 years at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, has a deep understanding of the nuts and bolts of city services derived from eight years as president of the Hamburg Homeowners Association.
In discussing projects as varied as rain gardens, zoning negotiations, traffic calming and street lights, Hawkins demonstrated an understanding of how to bring several parties together and get things done working through the system.
He also understands the challenges of balancing growth with protecting farmland and of encouraging infill while meeting the concerns of nearby neighbors. He has a strong grasp on the sanitary sewer and stormwater issues Lexington will be cleaning up for years under the terms of a consent decree with the Environmental Protection Agency.
Angela Evans, an attorney, worked as a public defender for five years in Lexington before moving on to state government, where she was general counsel for Secretary of State Trey Grayson and now has worked for six years at the attorney general's office representing licensing boards. She served on the Lexington Ethics Commission for six years, two as chair.
Evans has a clear understanding of how government works and an appreciation of the analytical skills needed to evaluate policies and approaches to deal with public issues.
She is aware of the complexities of land use issues in this combined urban/rural government. She also articulated concern about creating a city that will keep young professionals, particularly minorities, here.
The third candidate in the race, Thomas J. Hern, an automotive dealership consultant, did not display the depth of knowledge or understanding of government or local issues to earn a place on the fall ballot.
The unendorsed candidate may submit a 250-word response by noon Thursday.