Linda Gorton’s resounding victory is also a vote of confidence in Lexington’s nonpartisan government

Linda Gorton
Linda Gorton

Congratulations to mayor-elect Linda Gorton and to Lexington voters. Gorton’s resounding victory also was a renewed vote of confidence in Lexington’s nonpartisan local government.

An 11th-hour partisan appeal by former police chief Ronnie Bastin, in the form of a mailer sent to some Democrats, fell flat, even though registered Democrats substantially outnumber registered Republicans in Lexington.

Bastin worked hard to assemble a coalition of support after finishing second to Gorton in the primary.

But he could not overcome the deep ties and the record of progressive leadership that Gorton built during 16 years on the Urban County Council, including four as vice mayor.

Gorton’s victory also is a vote of confidence in the direction Lexington has been going during the last eight years under Mayor Jim Gray, who endorsed her.

By electing Gorton, Lexington voters again expressed support for protecting farmland by concentrating development inside the urban area.

Lexington’s nonpartisan government, created when city and county merged in 1974, works better than the governments in Frankfort and Washington in large part because it’s not divided along party lines.

While Bastin’s defeat might deter future candidates from appealing to partisan loyalties, the local political parties should voluntarily refrain from enmeshing city government in partisan politics out of respect for voters — and what’s best for Lexington.