Herald-Leader Endorsements


Federal races

Senate: Alison Lundergan Grimes

Has the focus, energy and independence to serve Kentucky better than the 30-year incumbent who has hurt the country to advance his partisan agenda.

6th Congress: Elisabeth Jensen

Supports jobs creation and wage increases, would be better for the district than the incumbent who has become beholden to the financial industry.

5th Congress: Harold "Hal" Rogers*

Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, is a steadying force in Washington and a leader of the bipartisan effort to remake the Eastern Kentucky economy.

State races

Senate 12: Kathy Warnecke Ryan

Offers deep knowledge of business and finance, a commitment to education, emphasizing early-childhood, and the experience to get things done.

Senate 28: R.J. Palmer*

Leads Democrat minority in Senate in ways to compromise on legislation and serves district well.

Senate 34: Michael S. Cope

Has refreshing common sense and insists on moving beyond wedge issues to take on real problems facing state and district.

House 39: Russ Meyer

Led Nicholasville well as mayor during the recession, prepared to look out for Bluegrass region.

House 56: James Kay*

Committed to finding ways to have both quality education and health care rather than scaring voters into choice between them.

House 62: Ryan F. Quarles*

Has shown he can break from partisan thinking to improve lives of citizens.

House 72: Sannie Overly*

Has become one of the most effective legislators and the first woman elected to a House leadership post.

House 76: Ruth Ann Palumbo*

Has proven to be more interested in finding common ground to pass legislation than grandstanding to make political points.

House 79: Susan Westrom*

Championed the neighborhood group that brought questionable practices of the Bluegrass Area Development District to light. Worked hard to improve the state's child-protection system.

House 88: Robert J. Benvenuti*

Has been a consistent champion of transparency and accountability in state government.

Lexington races

Mayor: Jim Gray*

Tackled tough and politically risky issues, including police and fire pension system reform and rising health-care costs. Ability to both dream big about city's future and wrangle with the nitty-gritty of government attracted national attention, businesses.

Council at-large: Steve Kay,* Richard Moloney, Kevin Stinnett

Each has deep experience in city government. Moloney has a passion for, and knowledge of, the nuts and bolts. Stinnett has gained respect for his attention to budgets. Kay has taken a leadership role on homelessness and affordable housing issues.

Council 2: Michael Stuart

Has a deep knowledge of the district and some of its challenges and has ffered practical solutions.

Council 3: Jake Gibbs

Has thoughtful, well researched ideas about balancing growth and preservation, supporting infill development while protecting neighborhoods and nurturing town-gown connections.

Council 4: Susan Lamb

Demonstrated impressive grasp of issues — affordable housing, economic development and infill development — and an enthusiasm for taking them on.

Council 6: Angela Evans

Experienced in public positions, including as a public defender now in attorney general's office, understands government and has the capacity to make it work for all.

Council 7: Michael Moynahan

Experienced in affordable housing and helping the working poor, which would be valuable as the city takes steps on these issues.

Council 8: LeTonia Jones

Skilled as an advocate for victims of rape and domestic violence, wants to expand job opportunities and raise the minimum wage in Lexington.

Council 9: Jennifer Mossotti*

Has record of being independent, critical voice on citywide issues and provides excellent service within her district.

Council 10: Harry Clarke*

Built reputation as remarkably astute and effective during first term, has solid ideas for the district and city.

School board 2: Roger Cleveland

Shows passion about narrowing the achievement gap for low-income, minority and disabled children and, as an education professor, has expertise needed.

School board 4: Natasha Murray

Works as research analyst with Kentucky Department of Education, on top of the best strategies for boosting math and reading skills among all students.

Sheriff: Kathy Witt*

Has improved department's professionalism and expanded the ways it serves citizens.

Circuit (family court) judge 2: Traci Boyd

Practiced in family court for 13 years, knows the law, teaches continuing-education classes in family law and has served on non-profits serving children and families.

Circuit (family court) judge 6: Kathy Stein*

Earns high marks after a year on the family court bench for judicial demeanor and the respectful, efficient way she runs her courtroom.

* denotes incumbent