Politics

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer will seek a third term as the city’s mayor. But he’s not talking much about his decision.

He delivered a brief statement to reporters Friday afternoon outside his office at Metro Hall, but declined to take any questions regarding the decision or elaborate on his ambition or goals driving his re-election bid.

“There will be time for campaigning next year,” Fischer said.

The mayor’s spokesman said he’s yet to formally file for re-election.

Fischer first announced his bid for re-election Friday morning while speaking to a group of nonprofits, according to The Courier-Journal, which first reported on his decision.

Fischer is a Democrat and was first elected to the mayor’s post in 2010, when he defeated Republican Hal Heiner to become Louisville’s 50th mayor. His second term began after he won the 2014 mayoral election.

Mayors in Louisville are limited to three terms.

Fischer has long touted his administration’s focus on economic development. Late last year, Louisville was awarded a $30 million federal grant to spur a revitalization of the Russell neighborhood and Fischer is quick to point out some $9 billion in other projects planned or underway across the city.

“We’ve done a lot of great work,” he told reporters Friday.

But not everyone agrees.

Metro Council member Julie Denton, a Republican from District 19, described Fischer’s tenure as “unstellar.”

Denton pointed to the record level of homicides last year and an opioid addiction epidemic that rages on.

More recently, Fischer’s administration has found itself embroiled in controversy surrounding allegations of sex abuse and an alleged cover-up within the city’s police department.

“I’m not so sure it would take much to beat him,” Denton said.

She’s often asked if she’ll challenge Fischer for mayor, but on Friday dismissed the notion.

“That’s just not on my bucket list,” Denton said. “I just don’t have any intent of ever doing that.”

Denton instead pointed to her council colleague, Angela Leet, also a Republican, as a worthy opponent to Fischer.

Leet did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Councilman Dan Johnson, a Democrat, in 2015 floated the idea of mounting a bid for mayor after announcing he’d not seek re-election to the council.

“It is something I will definitely consider,” he said then.

He did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

Council President David Yates said he’d look forward to working with Fischer if he’s elected to a third term. He said Louisville faces the struggles of any like-size city and addressing those issues must remain at the forefront of public policy.

Yates wants to see economic development spread into the southern and western areas of the city, continued investment in infrastructure and a dedicated focus on public safety.

“We need to continue to make sure we bring Louisville to the next level,” he said. “That all boats rise with the tide.”

Jacob Ryan is the Metro Affairs reporter for WFPL.