Louisville mayor candidates turn to Southwest Jefferson County to get out the vote

10/30/2010 08:27 PM

LOUISVILLE — Louisville mayoral candidates Greg Fischer and Hal Heiner have said nearly all they can.

After more than 40 forums and debates and the most expensive mayoral ad campaign in Louisville history, there is little new that either candidate can do. With just three days left until Election Day, all that’s left to do is remind Louisville voters to get to the polls on Tuesday.

With that in mind, Fischer, a Democrat, and Heiner, a Republican, started making their final pushes to become the next mayor of Louisville in an area that could likely determine who declares victory on Nov. 2 — Southwest Louisville.

Fischer started Saturday at state Rep. Joni Jenkins’ annual pre-election breakfast. Jenkins, a Democrat, represents Shively, part of the Southwest portion of the city. From there, Fischer, with a dozen supporters with him, took a rented fire truck and drove up and down Dixie Highway, stopping at the two major grocery stores, Kroger and Walmart Neighborhood Store, to ask for votes.

With a soundtrack of ’80s victory songs, the supporters yelled, cheered and partied their way from stop to stop. Fischer, between shaking hands, approached voters in all kinds of ways at each stop. Outside of Kroger, Fischer walked over to two women looking to rent a DVD from a Redbox machine.

“What are we looking for, ladies?” Fischer asked.

He didn’t stay around to find out what they rented. But he turned to the next person and asked them to vote on Tuesday.

“Thank you for your support,” Fischer said, after learning his selected voter was going to turn out in favor of Fischer.

A few miles away, Republican Heiner briskly walked door-to-door in the Windsor Forest neighborhood. With barking dogs and a decent wind, Heiner and two campaign staffers went to selected houses, trying to catch voters.

At one particular stop, Heiner was asked to help with an old Southwest problem — not enough quality restaurants or clothing stores anymore.

“Do you know how hard it is to shop around here? Have you ever tried to buy a book around here?” one voter asked Heiner.

He response was similar to the response he gave other voters he encountered in the neighborhood. Heiner said that he knows the problems facing the suburbs, and he’s the candidate for them.

“Just give us a Kohl’s and an Olive Garden,” another Southwest voter said.

Heiner said he’ll work on it.

“I think this election will be decided in the South and Southwest,” Heiner said.

Both candidates were in high spirits, not discouraged by 14-plus months of campaigning. The schedules were packed, the campaign offices stuffed with volunteers and supporters. The candidates, days away from learning their election fates, were trying one last time to influence voters.

Still, they might not be changing much of anything from the previous months full of ads, forums and debates.

“Our message hasn’t changed,” Fischer said, before jumping back onto the fire truck, onto the next stop somewhere in Louisville.

To see the candidates in action, watch Pure Politics Monday night at 7 p.m.

-Reporting by Kenny Colston

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