Letters to the Editor: Ann Bakhaus

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Lexington is the Horse Capital of the World–a brand that has been earned over centuries of unparalleled equine husbandry and racing, but now faces real economic and infrastructural challenges moving into the future.

Those who want to lure our signature industry to other states, are doing so with aggressive breeding and racing incentives, among other economic strategies. In addition, the very factory floor of our thoroughbred industry–our Bluegrass farmland–is under imminent threat from sprawl development and urbanization.

Without the phosphorous-rich, limestone soils that surround the city of Lexington, our working horse farms will be unable to naturally produce the world's best livestock–compromising our

supply of Kentucky-breds, and the many businesses that support them, from our renowned veterinary clinics and nutritionists, to our sales agencies, bloodstock agents, financial institutions, and tourism sectors. In all, an annual $2.3 billion industry–affecting one in 10 jobs in our community–is at stake in Lexington.

Linda Gorton is running for Mayor, and if elected Nov. 6, she will promote our signature agricultural industry and landscape. From passing land-use laws that protect our daily farming operations and conserve our prime Bluegrass soils, to creating jobs for a 21st century economy, Linda will go beyond giving platitudes for our signature industry, and produce real results on its behalf.

She publicly supports conserving 50,000 acres of Fayette County farmland under the Purchase of Development Rights Program; spearheading a comprehensive economic development strategy with equine and ag leaders to strengthen our interests; and using the roughly 17,000 acres inside our city limits to sustainably accommodate our community's future growth needs.

This will be a complex undertaking, but one Linda can champion. Not only does she come from a farming background, but for over a decade on the Urban County Council, she lead many diverse interests to address some of Lexington's most difficult issues–from establishing the PDR program, holding the line on expanding the Urban Services Boundary in 2006 and 2013, working on agreement with the EPA to fix our broken sewer system, and supporting Town Branch Park, Horse Country, and other seminal quality of life programs.

Lexington is at a key point in its history. We must be steadfast in our commitment to creating a vibrant and dynamic city, surrounded by a beautiful and economically productive rural landscape. The Thoroughbred industry is the cornerstone of this vision, and one Linda will tirelessly pursue as Mayor.

As a Thoroughbred breeder and owner, she has my vote.

Ann Bakhaus

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