LEXINGTON— Lexington’s two mayoral candidates spoke about their goals and answered questions at a special mayoral forum.

" /> LEXINGTON— Lexington’s two mayoral candidates spoke about their goals and answered questions at a special mayoral forum.

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Candidates match up in Lexington mayoral debate

10/05/2018 07:02 PM

LEXINGTON— With just 32 days until Election Day, many Lexingtonians already know which box they’ll be checking for mayor.

That’s the case for both Leon Underwood and Sonja Mather. Nevertheless, the came to a mayoral forum to hear what both candidates had to stay on various issues.

After announcing rules and requests, candidates Linda Gorton and Ronnie Bastin were both allotted 90 seconds to introduce themselves and their platform.

Following that, the candidates answered questions, both prepared and from the audience.

The first question asked their priority for the city.

Bastin, a law enforcement veteran, said he has three main priorities for Lexington. “Rising violent crime, opioids, which has impacted so many and too many families in our community, and school safety.”

Gorton, Lexington’s former Vice-mayor, had just one. “Addressing the opioid addiction problem, which is linked directly with crime.”

The candidates then took questions on a number of things. One question asked how they would address gun violence.

Gorton responded, “One of the most important things, I think, is to keep our community policing in tact. Where police know the people of the neighborhood and neighbors know who the police are.” She added that she also wanted to focus on educating people to keep their firearms locked and out of reach of children.

Bastin answered that same question by saying, “The chances of being involved in violence crime or the victim of violent crime, unless your involved with someone who is, is very small in Lexington.”

The pair also spoke on how to get people and businesses to pay back-owed taxes. Both said that is a priority because the city needs that money to function and provide services.

Bastin answered the question saying “I believe in working with people and give them a chance to call them and say you’re late on your taxes, what are we going to do about this. How are we going to work it out. What kind of schedule can we put you on? And if that’s not working, then we move it up.”

Gorton said she would continue a program that worked in the past. She explained, “Try an amnesty program. And then from there they said, ‘Ok, we have the amnesty. We know you’re on the tax rolls and from then on out, they pursued people heavily.”

After the hour long forum, people said they liked what they heard. Mather said, “I thought it was very interesting. It’s a good chance to get to know both of the candidates.”

Underwood had a similar reaction, saying “It was interesting. I wasn’t surprised. I was really impressed with both candidates.”

However both said, they forum didn’t change their minds on who to vote for. Come November 6, they’re sticking with their candidate.


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