GOOD BYE TO CITY HALL, BUT NOT LEX­ING­TON

Lexington Herald-Leader (Sunday) - - News -

Gray ran twice for other of­fices dur­ing his eight years at city hall. In 2016 he ran un­suc­cess­fully against U.S. Sen. Rand Paul. In 2018, he was de­feated in the Demo­cratic pri­mary for the 6th Con­gres­sional Dis­trict seat.

Many thought Gray would have eas­ily won a third and fi­nal term as mayor and ques­tioned his de­ci­sion to run in a race that he lost to po­lit­i­cal new­comer Amy McGrath, who was later de­feated in Novem­ber by in­cum­bent Repub­li­can U.S. Con­gress­man Andy Barr.

“I was con­fi­dent on the di­rec­tion of our city but I was not con­fi­dent on the di­rec­tion of our coun­try,” Gray said of his de­ci­sion to jump into the 6th Con­gres­sional Dis­trict race. Gray said he doesn’t re­gret run­ning for Congress.

Gray’s name has been floated as a pos­si­ble can­di­date for a statewide of­fice in 2019.

Gray de­clined to com­ment on whether he would con­sider an­other run for of­fice. Gray said he will help raise money for the Town Branch Park, a pro­posed 10-acre park ad­ja­cent to Rupp Arena that will need at least $30 mil­lion in pri­vate funds to get off the ground. He’s also ex­plor­ing other pos­si­bil­i­ties in­clud­ing the non­profit sec­tor.

He is not leav­ing Lex­ing­ton.

“Peo­ple have asked me if I’m go­ing to move,” Gray said. “I just think good­ness gra­cious, you couldn’t push me out of here with a bull­dozer.”

Does he have any ad­vice for Gor­ton or the coun­cil as he moves out of city hall?

“Think big. Start small and move swiftly,” Gray said.

A Glas­gow na­tive,

Gray moved to Lex­ing­ton in 1983 to at­tend the Univer­sity of Ken­tucky law school. Even­tu­ally, Gray Con­struc­tion moved its head­quar­ters from Glas­gow to Lex­ing­ton “be­cause it had a vi­tal­ity to it and we were a grow­ing com­pany and we needed to at­tract em­ploy­ees.”

The once-small and strug­gling fam­ily busi­ness blos­somed and grew here. Gray said what he wanted most was for peo­ple to see Lex­ing­ton how he saw it in 1983 and how he sees it now — a vi­brant, for­ward­think­ing, wel­com­ing com­mu­nity.

“It’s been the great­est honor of my ca­reer to have been the mayor of Lex­ing­ton,” Gray said. “I am enor­mously grate­ful and thank­ful for the op­por­tu­nity the cit­i­zens gave me to do the job.”

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