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Five Candidates File for Paducah Mayor Race

City of Paducah, via Facebook

With Tuesday's 4 p.m. filing deadline passed, five candidates have emerged in this year’s race for Paducah Mayor.

Incumbent Gayle Kaler is seeking a second term, and will be joined on May’s primary ballot by Arthur Baskin, Brandi Harless, Elliot Polach and Buzz VonTesmar.

Kaler says she has unfinished business that she would like to see carried out over the next four years.

"One of them is City Hall," Kaler said of the ongoing renovation project. "The other one is to continue to work on filling our downtown buildings, getting those buildings full."

Harless is the CEO of Personal Medicine Plus, a mobile application startup and chaired United Way of Paducah’s community wellness group.  She says the city is missing out on economic development opportunities that could be sparked through the city’s arts scene.

"We were just named the UNESCO Creative City and while that's a great designation, it will become even greater if we actually use it to leverage more opportunities in the arts and build the culture," Harless said.

VonTesmar owns a Paducah heating and air conditioning business. He says his biggest goal would be revitalizing downtown Paducah.

"That brings everything else along with it," VonTesmar said. "New restaurants, businesses, money, economy is all driven by how many people we can get to walk around downtown."

Polach also stressed the importance of downtown development.

"If the downtown district was actually full, we would add a huge section of new jobs for the market," Polach said in a Facebook posting.

Arthur Baskin could not be reached Tuesday.

The top two vote-getters in May will advance to the general election in November. 

John Null is the host and creator of Left of the Dial. From 2013-2016, he also served as a reporter in the WKMS newsroom.
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