Voters have two outstanding choices in LeTonia A. Jones and Dave Vinson in the race for the open District 8 seat on the Urban County Council.
Although we give experience a lot of weight in endorsements, these two political newcomers are so impressive that we are recommending them over former council member Fred Brown in the May 20 primary.
A fourth candidate, Amy Beasley, did not meet with the editorial board.
The winner of the November general election will succeed George Myers, who is running for a state House seat.
Jones has a master's degree in social work and has worked at Lexington's Rape Crisis Center, the local domestic violence shelter and as an administrator for the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association. A compelling advocate, she started her own social work and expert witness business last year.
Jones places high priority on workforce development and putting people back to work quickly through partnerships with businesses. She also emphasizes her commitment to being accessible to District 8 residents and addressing the district's "pockets of poverty."
Vinson, who is a retired construction-workers union representative, is a founding member of the River Park Neighborhood Association. He helped lead the successful challenge against putting a residential program for 120 felons in the neighborhood, which led to an audit that revealed significant mismanagement and abuses of power by the Blue Grass Area Development District.
For a neighborhood to successfully expose abuses by such a politically powerful organization took the kind of dogged persistence and attention to detail that would serve the public well.
Vinson's priorities are addressing crime in the district and opening up more job opportunities through training programs and public-private collaborations.
Both Jones and Vinson are thoughtful and smart. They appear to have the patient but determined temperaments essential for effectiveness on the council. They also have experience dealing with government processes that would shorten their learning curves and better enable them to represent the district that lies south of New Circle Road and is bounded by Tates Creek Road and Alumni Drive.
Brown, a semi-retired partner in an accounting firm, represented District 8 from 1994 to 2004. He wants to increase police and firefighter numbers and again allow officers to drive their cruisers home to heighten police presence.
While we appreciate his past service, the energy and new ideas offered by Jones and Vinson would better serve the district and all of Lexington.
The unendorsed candidate who met with the editorial board may submit a 250-word response by noon Friday.