GOOD BYE TO CITY HALL, BUT NOT LEXINGTON
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.”