For someone who’s been in his seat less than a year, Preston Worley has an impressive knowledge of Lexington 7th District’s needs, both large and small.
His work as an attorney representing affordable-housing lenders, such as the Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises and the Kentucky Housing Corp., gives him knowledge that can help the whole city as the council searches for ways to expand access to affordable housing, one of the most pressing challenges.
His opponent, Chris Logan, senior pastor of Thrive Church and partner in an industrial hemp processing and brokerage business, is personable and has come close in earlier council races. He, too, understands the challenges facing Lexington and the district. But, judging from his fund-raising, Logan has failed to expand his base of support.
Worley has raised an unusual amount of money for a district council race, around $70,000, at least in part from political allies of his father, former state legislator Ed Worley of Richmond, who was a Democratic leader in the state Senate. The younger Worley is an associate in the McBrayer law firm.
Worley’s bulging war chest and political pedigree have raised speculation that he sees the Urban County Council as a political stepping stone. If so, there’s nothing wrong with ambition. Lexington’s nonpartisan city council is an excellent place to learn about public service and governing. And Worley’s interest in his constituents struck us as genuine.
Since Mayor Jim Gray appointed him last December to the seat vacated by Jennifer Scutchfield, Worley’s proudest accomplishment came in response to youngsters walking from the Woodhill area to the Eastside Branch of the public library. He said they had worn a path in the shoulder of Old Todds Road. Worley secured $565,000 in the city budget to build a sidewalk.
His concern for others is not new. As a student at the University of Kentucky, he was one of the initiators of Dance Blue, the annual dance marathon by students that has raised millions of dollars for childhood cancer treatment and research. He still serves on its advisory board and on the fund-raising arm of the Kentucky Children’s Hospital.
The 7th, which stretches from East New Circle Road, out Richmond/Athens Boonesboro Road to the Squires Road and Buckhorn Dr. areas, is home to both growing neighborhoods and those ripe for revival.
Because of his deeper engagement in the issues and the neighborhoods, voters should elect Preston Worley.
The unendorsed candidate may respond with a 250-word response by noon Thursday.