Campus News

Lexington Mayoral Candidate Forum Set for Oct. 20

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Oct. 14, 2010) - The Scripps Howard First Amendment Center at the University of Kentucky and the Lexington League of Women Voters will co-sponsor a forum for the two candidates in the 2010 Lexington-Fayette Urban County mayoral race at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 20, in the Small Ballroom of the UK Student Center. Lexington Mayor Jim Newberry and Vice Mayor Jim Gray will give opening statements, answer selected questions from the audience and give closing statements during the forum. The event is free and open to the public.

Lexington League of Women Voters board member and past League president Cindy Heine, along with UK School of Journalism and Telecommunications professors Kakie Urch and Mike Farrell have been working with the Jim Gray and Jim Newberry mayoral campaigns to bring the forum to campus. Gray and Newberry were the top vote-getters in the primary and will vie for the mayor’s spot in the Nov. 2 election. For more information on the candidates, visit their official campaign websites at and

“One of the key reasons the First Amendment is so vital to our democracy is that it allows for an open debate about how government performs and the policies it pursues,” said Farrell, director of the Scripps Howard First Amendment Center. “We’re pleased we can work with the League of Women Voters to bring this forum to campus. It will give students, who certainly have a stake in how Lexington is governed, an opportunity to meet the candidates and hear their positions so that they can cast informed votes on Nov. 2.”

Moderators will be Kelsey Hayes, vice president of the UK Student Government Association, and a member of the League. Urch will serve as a coordinator and production contact. The format is a forum, rather than a debate, as is standard for League of Women Voters events across the country. 

The candidates will be given an opportunity to introduce themselves and explain their generalized positions. Then, they will answer questions from the audience. Straws will be drawn to see which candidate answers first. 

The League does not accept questions of a personal nature, and any question posed must be posed to both candidates. Both candidates will answer each question, alternating who goes first. In keeping with the forum format, candidates will not be allowed to ask questions of each other. Each candidate will then have an opportunity for closing comments. 
Public parking is available in the Student Center lot on Avenue of Champions.
The mission of the Scripps Howard First Amendment Center at the University of Kentucky is to promote understanding of the First Amendment among citizens of Kentucky, to advocate for First Amendment rights in the Commonwealth and nationally, and to produce internationally recognized scholarship concerning the First Amendment and its related freedoms.
The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan political organization that works to encourage the informed and active participation of citizens in government. It works to increase understanding of major public policy issues and influence public policy through education and advocacy.  Members are women and men of voting age who inform themselves before taking stands on issues.