Paducah mayoral candidates react to being on November ballot
The race for the next Paducah mayor is now down to two people. Brandi Harless finished first with 2,177 votes. Incumbent Gayle Kaler came in second with 1,816 votes. They advance to the general election in November.
The remaining candidates were Arthur Baskin, who received 563 votes, and Buzz Vontesmar, who received 372 votes.
Harless says Tuesday’s results are indicative of what the city of Paducah is looking for. Harless hosted a watch party at The 1857 Hotel that had more than 100 supporters at one point. With 361 more votes than Kaler, Harless says its shows Paducah is looking for a change in leadership.
"For me, it’s been about starting the conversation around fiscal responsibility, around the way that we’re spending our money for the city. But also, more than that, about the vision for Paducah and where we’re headed. You know, Allan Rhodes and I have been good friends, and he endorsed me wholeheartedly coming into this election. And I think Allan represents the kind of leader that our citizens are looking for, and his endorsement of me and this win tonight is indicative of what the citizens of Paducah are looking for,” Harless said.
Incumbent Mayor Gayle Kaler was at the annual Heart and Soul Art Celebration and Auction event, which benefits Easter Seals Disability Services, while ballots were being counted Tuesday night.
Kaler says there’s a new energy in Paducah, and she wants to keep bringing more young people back into the city. She says there’s a lot more projects and work she wants to accomplish in the next four years.
“We’ve got a balanced budget in the city of Paducah. We haven’t raised taxes in the last four years, with the exception of a 1 cent on $100 in property tax .So, we’ve kept taxes down. We have a balanced budget. We’ve been able to accomplish a lot in the last four years. There’s a new energy in Paducah. There’s a lot more young people involved, which is wonderful. And, of course, I have one of those running against me in this election," Kaler said, "So, I feel like, you know, I can inspire people. I’ve met with these young people. I’ve met with three different groups of them, and one of the things we want to do is bring more young people back into Paducah. And I think we are being more successful with that. creating more opportunities for entrepreneurship, and for creating more jobs within the city and the county itself,” Kaler said.