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Angela Leet wants to be mayor of Louisville in the worst way. The Republican Metro Councilwoman from Louisville's Seventh District, has announced that she will run next year against Democrat Mayor Greg Fischer, the incumbent who is seeking reelection.
Virtually unknown, outside of her East-End district, Leet has been struggling for the past few weeks to garner face time on the local media, in a valiant—if ineffective—attempt to place her name before the voting public. A liberal Republican, running against a popular ultra-liberal Democrat mayor, Mrs. Leet definitely has her work cut out for her.
A relative newcomer to local politics, Leet brings with her an impressive resume. With a degree in Engineering and an MBA, she owns and runs her own environmental engineering firm. She has an attractive family, with a handsome husband and two beautiful little boys. She is active in community affairs, is a lifelong resident of Louisville, and attended local parochial schools.
In her previous primary and general election campaigns, Leet expressed mostly mainstream Republican ideas and talking points. Incumbency, on the other hand, has her competing with her mostly left-leaning colleagues on the Louisville Metro Council, and now trying to catch up to our ultra-leftist mayor. Predictably, her mayoral campaign will find her leaning further to the kumbaya style of politics which has proven so effective for Louisville's political class.
Mrs. Leet correctly observed that, with the self-destruction of the Democratic Party moving apace, this would be an ideal opportunity for a moderate Republican to slip into the mayor's office. Louisville's last Republican mayor, Kenneth Schmeid, left office in 1969 amid numerous scandals and charges of ineptitude and malfeasance. For more than a half-century, Democrat mayors have presided over local government in Louisville: Most adequate, a couple supurb, one an embarassing clown. Louisville seems to love its Democrat mayors.
But, as the Republican juggernaut continues to sweep across the country, we now have a Republican governor and majority in the Kentucky General Assembly, and Metro merger has brought the first few Republicans into the Metro Council in recent memory. And Angela Leet thought the time opportune to launch her political ship on that rising tide.
Leet's timing is perfect. Mayor Fischer's popularity is clearly on the wane. After a promising start in his first term, he began to falter with a number of policy failures and scandals. His administration has been incapable of bringing any kind of economic development to Louisville's blighted West End. He seems to concentrate on liberal puffery such as bike lanes, sports stadia, and solar powered wi-fi garbage cans. He failed in his cover-up of the Louisville Police Explorer Scout pedophilia/rape scandal, and as the city's murder rate skyrockets, dead bodies continue to pile up in our potholed streets.
Leet's timing may be perfect, but her approach thusfar has been a bit ham-handed. She has shifted away from supporting deregulation and small buisness development, and moved over to “women's issues.” This may prove to be a mistake, since any women voters blinded by gender prejudice can already be counted upon to vote for her, and she risks alienating much of Louisville's South and West neighborhoods, where voters are less interested in battling the culture wars than they are concerned with reducing crime, improving schools, creating jobs, and repairing our streets.
As an outspoken member of the Louisville Metro Council's Charging Committee, which recently and unsuccessfully attempted to remove Democrat Councilman Dan Johnson for some real or imagined transgressions against women, she should have taken her cue from the demeanor of the Democrat women on the Metro Council Court; particularly from some of the more seasoned veterans of these internecine squabbles. The more experienced women—and the African American women in particular—on the Council Court behaved professionally during the Dan Johnson impeachment trial, and remained poised and dignified throughout the sometimes tumultuous proceedings.
Mrs. Leet, on the other hand, took the lead by jumping in front of the growing mob of feminist termagants, and, emoting into the assembled television cameras, expressing her shock and outrage at the 2/3 of her colleagues who voted not to expel Councilman Johnson from the Louisville Metro Council. Instead of presenting an image of dignity and reason, she came across to all but her pink-hat-wearing acolytes as a shrill harpy: a harridan cut from the same cloth as Ashley Judd, Gloria Steinem, and Kathy Griffin. Not the sort of lady Louisville voters are likely to elect their mayor.
Political observers may well feel a measure of sadness at Angela's early flame-out. Greg Fischer has unfortunately turned out to be a dissappointment; mediocre at best. He is vulnerable this time up. Leet had her chance, but she blew it. More's the pity.