Candidates for Lexington mayor spent more than $825,000 in the seven-way May primary, campaign finance reports show.
Linda Gorton, a former longtime council member, and Ronnie Bastin, a former Lexington police chief, beat five other challengers to advance to the November general election.
The race is nonpartisian. The total amount the candidates spent on the race was $826,0428, according to 30-day post election reports filed with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance.
But that’s not the most money ever spent in a mayoral primary. Not by a lot.
In the 2010 primary, current Mayor Jim Gray, former Mayor Jim Newberry and former Mayor Teresa Isaac spent a combined $1.7 million, according to Kentucky Registry of Election Finance reports.
Gorton, a retired nurse, was the clear frontrunner in the race, despite being outspent by Bastin and Kevin Stinnett, a Lexington councilman. Gorton received nearly 42 percent of the vote compared to Bastin’s 25 percent. Gorton won all but 55 of the city’s 287 precincts on May 22, according to a Herald-Leader analysis of election results.
In total, Bastin raised the most of the candidates with $311,625, according to the 30-day post election report filed with the registry. That total was bolstered by a $125,000 personal loan. Stinnett raised $282,419. Gorton raised $191,735 with $41,090 raised in the final quarter before the May 22 primary. Gorton loaned her campaign $20,000 of the $41,090.
Bastin paid himself back $41,507 in the final weeks before the primary, according to his election report. That means he only has $1,604.28 left heading into the November general election.
Gorton has $4,115.56 still in her primary account.
Isaac spent $43,572.35 of the $43,866 she raised. Ike Lawrence, a small business owner who finished fifth, raised $11,087, spent $7,153 but had $3,931.44 left in his campaign coffers. The other two candidates, Skip Horine and William Weyman, did not raise more than $3,000 and were not required to file campaign finance reports.
Neither Isaac, who finished third, or Stinnett, who finished fourth, have announced if and who they will endorse in the November general election.
“I am working on closing out my campaign and then will make a decision,” Stinnett said. Isaac said she has met with both Bastin and Gorton and said she will likely announce who she will endorse in October.