First-time mayoral candidate Kyle Thompson beat Donna Hecker by 33 votes and will face incumbent City Commissioner Bill May, who is running in his fourth mayoral race, in November.
“Within five minutes everything changed, we went from a very somber mood to a very excited mood,” Thompson said in front of the Franklin County Clerk’s office on Main Street after Tuesday’s primary votes were counted.
“But I think we’re measured. We know we have a long road ahead over the next six months.”
According to unofficial primary results, May received 2,872 votes, beating Thompson, with 1,913 votes, and Hecker, with 1,880 votes.
“I was overwhelmed with the results, and I was very humbled after being able to do so well in a year when I thought incumbents across the board were not looking favorable,” May said Tuesday night.
“I think people really do want someone with experience in the mayor’s position here in Frankfort.”
Hecker said she expected the race to be close with Thompson but thought the two newcomers would be tighter with May, who got just over 43 percent of the votes.
“Frankfort deserves the very best it has to represent its residents,” Hecker said over the phone Tuesday night.
“I think Frankfort is kind of coming out of the shadows from state government and developing its own identity,” she added, “and I think there are many issues to discuss before going into November.
“I wish both of them well.”
According to records from the Kentucky Registry of Finance, Hecker raised the most money for her primary campaign with $10,865. May raised $9,477 and Thompson netted $8,770.
May and Thompson said they will continue their campaign strategies for the November election.
“We’ve worked hard, and we’re going to continue to work hard,” May said.
Thompson says going forward he will step up ways to introduce himself and platform to Frankfort.
May has more than 20 years of experience with city government, and he is using his experience as the focus of his campaign.
“He’s got name recognition that will take me many, many, many years to ever reach, so that’s one of the steps we are going to have to reach,” Thompson said.
Thompson has focused his platform on public safety and balancing the city’s finances. May has relied on his years in office and voting record – including votes against the new pay-as-you-throw garbage program and against tax increases.
“(Experience is) the most important thing to be successful in the mayor’s office and with Frankfort being the capital city,” May said.