Fayette County

No primaries in Urban County Council races; only 3 have opposition

Lexington Fayette Urban County Government council chambers.
Lexington Fayette Urban County Government council chambers.

For the first time since 2010, there will be no May primaries for Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council seats.

All 12 incumbents filed to run for re-election by Tuesday’s 4 p.m. filing deadline. Nine will be unopposed in the Nov. 8 general election.

Only three races — in the the 2nd, 4th and 12th districts — will be contested in November. A primary would have been held if three or more people filed to run for a seat, but that didn’t happen in any of the districts. Lexington council races are nonpartisan.

In the 2nd District, incumbent Shevawn Akers, who is in her second term, will face political newcomer Sasha Love Higgins, a general manger of a local Hampton Inn. Higgins filed Monday.

Akres said Tuesday she was looking “

forward to continuing the work I began three years ago — advocating for my district, connecting neighborhoods and residents, and continuing work on large infrastructure projects like a new fire station, new park and trail amenities and new aquatic facilities.”

Higgins, who has spent the past 13 years in the hospitality industry in various capacities before becoming a general manager, said she decided to run because she felt the need to serve. Higgins said her top issues are improving public safety, making public transportation more efficient and effective, and improving transparency.

“Lextran is a valuable and essential service to us in the 2nd District,” Higgins said. “And we will work hard to ensure that critical service is there for our hard-working residents when we need it.”

The 2nd District, in northwest Lexington, includes such neighborhoods as Masterson Station, McConnell’s Trace and Meadowthorpe.

In the 4th District, incumbent Susan Lamb, a former council clerk and city employee who is in her first term, will face Barry Saturday, a social studies teacher and former financial adviser and stockbroker. Saturday filed Tuesday morning. He ran against Lamb and then-incumbent Julian Beard in 2014, finishing third in the primary.

Lamb said she has worked to improve communication with neighborhoods in the 4th District and thinks that her 30 years’ experience in city government has been a boon not only to her constituents but to her colleagues on the council.

“That institutional knowledge has been very beneficial,” Lamb said.

Saturday said he filed because he thought voters should have a choice between two good candidates.

“I think in any election it’s ideal for voters to have a choice,” he said. “Susan Lamb is a friend of mine. I think overall she’s doing a good job. If I look at it from the lens of the voter, I want people with different takes on how Lexington can grow effectively. We have different takes on some issues.”

The 4th district’s boundaries are Tates Creek and Nicholasville roads from south of Alumni Drive to Man o’ War Boulevard, with a small portion that extends south to the county line.

In the 12th District, Russ Hensley, who was appointed to the council by Mayor Jim Gray after Ed Lane died in August, faces Kathy Plomin. Plomin, a former president of United Way of the Bluegrass, ran in the at-large race in 2010 and came in fourth.

Hensley said this month that he thinks his business experience — he is the CEO of two technology companies — combined with his knowledge and understanding of agriculture make him the ideal candidate for the position. Plomin said she decided to run because of her long-time ties to the district — she has lived there for 28 years — and said serving on the council would be an extension of her work with United Way and other nonprofits.

Beth Musgrave: 859-231-3205, @HLCityhall

Urban County Council candidates

District 1: James Brown

District 2: Shevawn Akers, Sasha Love Higgins*

District 3: Jake Gibbs

District 4: Susan Lamb, Barry Saturday*

District 5: Bill Farmer Jr.

District 6: Angela Evans

District 7: Jennifer Scutchfield

District 8: Fred V. Brown

District 9: Jennifer Mossotti

District 10: Amanda Mays Bledsoe

District 11: Peggy Henson

District 12: Russ Hensley, Kathy Plomin*

*Challenger

Source: Fayette County Clerk’s Office

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