Longtime, local politician likely to drop out of race because of poor health
PADUCAH, Ky.— He's Paducah's longest serving elected official, and this year, Robert Coleman had his eyes set on The Office of The Mayor. Now, he says health issues may force him to pull out of the race. "If I don't feel better in the next few days, I will probably withdraw," he said.
Coleman had a significant operation in April that's taking him longer to recover from than expected.
"I have been ill for the past several weeks, and this morning when I got up I felt ill. I was going to try to make it, but as the time progressed, I did not improve any," said Coleman explaining his absence at Monday's Labor Day parade in Paducah.
Coleman says his health has actually gotten worse since the primary election, when he and Gayle Kaler won enough votes to each run for mayor.
Kaler, at the Labor Day parade, took the opportunity to tout the accomplishments of other women who paved the way for her candidacy. She said, "I'm not the first woman to run for Mayor of Paducah, I'm not the second woman to run for Mayor of Paducah, but I do want to be the third woman elected Mayor of Paducah."
Kaler would likely run unopposed if Coleman's health issues force him to withdraw. The move would end his political career. He said, "I think about four years ago and how close I came and could have made it, and I didn't. Then this happened to this campaign. After 31 years of public service, maybe the good Lord has decided that's enough for me."
Doug Harnice, who finished third in the primary, could get back in the race as a write in candidate. On Monday, he said he'd have to give the idea some serious thought