'I'm ready for it': Linda Gorton excited for second term as Lexington mayor

Posted at 3:57 PM, Nov 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-11-15 19:33:10-05

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — One week after her convincing win over David Kloiber in Lexington's mayoral race, incumbent Linda Gorton spoke with LEX 18 in a candid interview about her re-election, first term, and hopes for the city over the next four years.

Gorton's win last Tuesday was decisive as she tallied more than 70% of the vote.

"I thought I would do well, but not that well," Gorton said from her office inside the Lexington Fayette Urban County Government building, which she one day hopes to replace.

"We've known for twenty years we need a new City Hall. I want to have a new City Hall that's been dedicated," the mayor said, before noting an attempt was made to devise that plan soon after she took office, but was, like most everything else, derailed by the pandemic.


Full interview with Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton

Gorton's first term was littered with landmines she had to navigate. From the aforementioned pandemic, the economic hit that ensued, a summer of nightly protests over racial injustice, which spilled onto the streets outside her office, and a rising crime rate, which includes a record 41 homicides in 2022, the first term, while successful in many areas, was not easy.

"I'm ready for it," she said of her second term. "I'm as tested as any mayor can be. And my team is ready for it," she said with supreme confidence.


Among the many things she'd like to accomplish between now and 2026, Gorton said she is very much in favor of following through on the promise of bringing professional soccer to Lexington.

"I really want Lexington Sporting Club to be here. They're in the process of building their (practice) fields right now, and I'd like the stadium to be here. This would be good for Lexington," she said.

Mayor Gorton said funding for a stadium would likely have to be a joint public/private sector endeavor.

Of the many highlights of Mayor Gorton's first term was the launch of One Lexington. The program, which is run by Devine Carama, is a mentorship program that has already derived a benefit. Youth homicides have been cut in half in 2022, and violent crimes of all kinds across the city have dropped by 2%.

"That doesn't sound like much, but given what's happening around the country it's a lot," Gorton said.

When asked what she'd most like to accomplish during her next four years, mayor Gorton did not hesitate.

"I want to have all, or as many as possible, of my commission on racial justice and equality recommendations in place and sustainable," she said.

The mayor was referring to the list of recommendations made by the city's faith leaders, and other minority community members, designed to help the advancement of minority community members.

"It's about the greater good, and with that commission, we can be a community for everyone," she said.

In four years, Mayor Gorton will have another decision to make, and it won't be about the city's budget or any other matter impacting Lexington. She insisted that she has no interest in a political career outside of Lexington, though she did admit to being asked to consider making a run for a spot in the State Legislature.

"I like the non-partisan nature of this, and that is something I take very seriously," she said of the mayor's role. "I love working for the city. I think this is my niche," the former Vice Mayor and one-time City Council member added.

71% of Lexington's voters agreed and helped her carve out more of that niche for the next four years, which she said should be at least a little easier, given the circumstances.

"If I had wood nearby, I'd knock it," she joked. "I think our city has shown its strength, its resilience in getting through some pretty terrible challenges. And we're stronger for it," Gorton said.