by Morgan Watkins, Louisville Courier Journal –
Courier Journal reporters Phillip Bailey and Mandy McLaren break down of Kentucky’s primary election results. Scott Utterback/Courier Journal
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Metro Councilwoman Angela Leet won their mayoral primary elections Tuesday night — victories that propel both candidates toward a face-off this fall over violent crime, economic development and other issues.
Fischer won the Democratic primary with approximately 75 percent of the vote, trouncing four opponents, while Leet beat fellow Republican Bob DeVore with 66 percent of the vote.
Leet, who bypassed a re-election bid for her Metro Council seat to run for mayor, said Tuesday night that she felt confident, though the coming race will be challenging. She plans to continue her grassroots approach by knocking on doors and going to neighborhood meetings.
“I feel humbled that voters have come out in support of my message,” she said. “Every single Louisvillian matters.”
Leet said she will focus on curbing violent crime if she is elected, citing drug overdoses as another key concern. Fischer has faced scrutiny over Louisville’s rising number of homicides, which exceeded 100 in each of the last two years.
However, Fischer has highlighted the economic development Louisville has experienced under his leadership, including an influx of new jobs and businesses as well as major construction projects, as he seeks a third term.
Democrats overwhelmingly backed the incumbent mayor Tuesday. Louisville attorney Ryan Fenwick came in second with almost 17 percent of the vote.
“Louisville is undergoing an unprecedented renaissance, and I won’t rest until every person can share in this success,” Fischer said in a victory statement. “I am confident about putting my team’s record of accomplishment and vision for the future in front of voters to keep moving Louisville forward.”