Louisville mayoral candidates begin to differentiate on specific issues

07/12/2010 12:54 PM

(WITH VIDEO) LOUISVILLE — Two months into the race to replace Jerry Abramson as Louisville mayor, the separation between Democrat Greg Fischer and Republican Hal Heiner on key issues has been small, underscoring how competitive this race is likely to be this fall.

Both are touting job creation, their business backgrounds and economic development as key issues of the race. Each encourages a “one city” type of mentality in stump speeches. And both have proven to be prolific fund-raisers.

“It appears to be heating up,” Dr. Dewey Clayton a political science professor at the University of Louisville told cn|2 politics. “Both have their name out there, both have a substantial war chest. It’s early, but the stage is set and both are out-spoken candidates.”

Clayton said both candidates have done well so far to show that they understand what voters want to hear most about by addressing job creation and economic development.

The challenge for both men will be differentiating themselves and their messages, Clayton said.

“I’m not sure they have many differences between themselves,” Clayton said. “I’m not totally sure where they’re clear cut or where they stand on major issues.”

In an attempt to clarify, cn|2 Politics has pressed the candidates on their positions on other issues facing the Louisville metropolitan area: the Ohio River Bridges Project, the problems facing the Metropolitan Sewer District and it’s billions in debt and whether or not they would try and retain Louisville Police Chief Robert White if they are elected to office.

Here’s what they have to say about keeping White, who recently was passed over for the police commissioner job in Atlanta:

Check out their answers about how to deal with the sewer district’s problems and proposed rate increases:

And here they are on the bridges project:

—Video produced by Holly Thompson, reporting by Kenny Colston

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