Eight years ago Kyle Thompson ran for mayor and lost to current Mayor Bill May by 1,490 votes.
Now he’s ready to throw his name in the hat again, but this time he’s running for a Frankfort City Commission seat.
“I really feel like there are a lot of things that need to be addressed,” Thompson said.
Which Frankfort City Commission candidate do you most want to see advance to the general election in November?
For Thompson, those things are economic development, a new arts and convention center, revitalization of the parks system and reducing the crime rate.
Thompson is the second candidate running for city commission to mention Frankfort’s low population growth rate as a concern.
“That shouldn’t be happening,” he said. Thompson credits Frankfort’s lack of new industries as a reason for the city’s stagnant population. He said the lack of newer jobs hurts wages and Frankfort’s schools.
“Everything is connected,” Thompson said.
If elected, Thompson said he would introduce economic impact zones, tax incentives for new businesses, an entrepreneur traction program and a strategic plan for economic development.
Thompson said also he thinks the city commission and Franklin County Fiscal Court should collaborate to resolve these issues.
Thompson said another way Frankfort could attract people is through building a new arts and convention center.
He said having a convention center and a venue with at least 5,000 seats would have great economic impact on Frankfort.
Thompson said he’s done his research and found that other Kentucky towns smaller than Frankfort that have a small venue for concerts and other events are thriving.
Thompson believes Frankfort already has a fantastic arts program, but it's not drawing people from outside of Frankfort.
As for recreation, Thompson would like to see Frankfort install more synthetic turf fields for soccer and football. By doing so, Frankfort could host more tournaments and draw more people in from out of town.
“Our city suffers from a lack of facilities,” he said.
Thompson, chief operations officer of Capital Court Authority LLC and a former prosecutor, is also passionate about lowering the crime rate.
Thompson said he’d like every Frankfort police officer to have a body camera and every patrol car to have a dash camera.
This not only protects the police officers but also the citizens, he added.
As for reducing the crime rate, Thompson believes Frankfort has one of the best police forces in the state, but he recognizes that the community’s alcohol and drug addiction issues keep the property crime levels high for a city Frankfort’s size.
Thompson said he would want the city and county to open a government-sponsored inpatient and outpatient opioid treatment facility.
“It’s a broken system,” Thompson said about the number of times he saw the same people getting in trouble over and over again because of their struggle with addiction.
Thompson said that since most of the people who need help are on Medicaid or have private insurance, the treatment facility would be self-sustaining once it gets going.
Thompson, who is 43 and a lifelong resident of Frankfort, said he wants to make the city a better place for everyone, including his kids.
“I want my kids to have a reason to come back here (after college),” he said.
Some Frankfort residents might remember the 2012 race for its “nastiness.”
“I hate that it got ugly,” Thompson said, about the 2012 race against May.
Thompson said he doesn’t have any regrets about the 2012 campaign. He said his campaign staff was regularly attacked for wanting change and recalls that some of his supporters had their campaign signs stolen and their cars vandalized.
“It was unnecessary,” Thompson said, adding he doesn’t have any ill will toward May and his supporters. May is not seeking reelection in 2020.
For this election, Thompson isn’t worried that history will repeat itself.
“I’m going to focus on being kind,” he said. “... I hope people see it's time for change.”
Thompson is one of 12 candidates running for Frankfort City Commission. He is up against Harry Carver, Tim Childers, Shannon Griffith, Kelly May, Will Prible, Anna Marie Rosen, Diane Strong, Brent Sweger, Leesa Unger and incumbents Katrisha Waldridge and Eric Whisman.
The race for city commission is nonpartisan, which means none of the candidates affiliate with a political party.
The primary election is May 19. The top eight candidates will move onto the general election on Nov. 3.
The top four candidates at the general election will be elected to the city commission.