The Agenda

Openly gay mayor of Lexington, KY announces run to unseat Rand Paul

Openly gay Lexington Mayor Jim Gray announced Tuesday plans to take his public service statewide. Gray filed to run as a Democrat for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Sen. Rand Paul.
In his campaign announcement video, Gray touted his fiscal successes as mayor, adding that he wants to extend the American Dream to more residents of Kentucky. Watch his announcement here.
Gray also went on the offensive against the junior senator of his state. “Sen. Paul confuses talking with getting results. He offers ideas that will weaken our country at home and abroad.” In an interview with the Lexington Herald Leader, Gray argued that Paul’s focus on his presidential campaign – and thus lack of focus on the interests of Kentucky residents – make Paul a vulnerable candidate in the Senate race.
When Gray was elected in 2010, Lexington became the third-largest city to have an openly gay mayor at that time.
In this election, Gray believes his sexual orientation will not hold him back. In the same Herald Leader article, Gray asserted that the people of Kentucky won’t focus solely on his identity, but rather on his ideas. “I know what it’s like to challenge conventional thinking and conventional patterns,” Gray said. “What I believe people want is performance and results. That’s what they are about. That’s what counts.”
Gray now heads into a Democratic primary against six other candidates for the seat. Paul also faces challengers within his party’s primary. However, the challenge for the Democratic nominee to unseat Sen. Paul will be to excite committed, liberal voters in the state of County Clerk Kim Davis and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Gray, the former CEO of Gray Construction – a family-grown company that has now expanded internationally – has previously stated that he sees his campaigns as “an investment,” and has largely self-funded his mayoral races.

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