Fayette County

Four Lexington council members will not seek re-election; filing deadline is Tuesday

The face of the Urban County Council will change in the fall as four incumbents have announced they will not seek re-election.

The filing deadline for council seats is 4 p.m. Tuesday.

As of Monday, Tom Blues in District 2, KC Crosbie in District 7, Jay McChord in District 9 and Doug Martin in District 10 had said they would not run again.

Already, candidates have filed to run in those districts.

Lisa Sanden and Shevawn Akers have filed for Blues' seat in District 2; Connie Kell and Jennifer Mossotti will run for McChord's seat in the 9th; Jason Rainey is seeking Crosbie's seat in the 7th, and Harry Clarke has filed for Martin's District 10 seat.

But residents of those districts aren't the only ones who will have new council representatives. Council boundaries have been redrawn since the last election to reflect population changes in Fayette County; about 33,000 residents were moved into different council districts.

"Come election time, some people are going to have a new council person and it's going to be a surprise to them," said Emma Tibbs, chairwoman of the 2011 Redistricting Committee.

Every 10 years, council district boundary lines are redrawn, based on the latest U.S. Census figures. "We had to try to equalize population while at the same time recognizing and allowing for our potential growth areas," Tibbs said Monday.

Based on the 2010 census, Fayette County's population is about 300,000, an increase of 13.5 percent in the past decade. The redistricting goal was a median population of 24,650 people in each district, give or take 10 percent.

"Districts 2 and 12 had grown enormously," Tibbs said. "Between those two districts we had to move 15,000 people. We moved 8,000 out of Tom Blues' 2nd district and 7,000 out of Ed Lane's 12th district."

A candidate needs signatures from 100 registered voters from his or her district to run. There is a $50 filing fee.

Because council races are non-partisan, there is a primary election only if at least three people are seeking the same seat. This year's primary is May 22.

When a district has only two candidates, there is no primary; the candidates meet in the November general election.

"At this point we have at least one person in every district now but no more than two in each district," Tracy Merriman, election department manager in the Fayette County clerk's office, said.

As of Monday, two candidates had filed to run in districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 9.

Marty Clifford will run against incumbent Chris Ford in the 1st, Sanden and Akers in the 2nd; newcomer Stephanie Spires will run against incumbent Diane Lawless in the 3rd, and Sam Cox will oppose incumbent Julian Beard in the 4th. Kell and Mossotti will vie to represent the 9th.

Incumbents running for re-election with no opposition as of Monday were Bill Farmer Jr., District 5; Kevin Stinnett, District 6; George Myers, District 8; Peggy Henson, District 11, and Ed Lane, District 12.

The three at-large council members are not on the ballot this year; they were elected to four-year terms last year.

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