After weeks of speculation, Louisville businessman and former mayoral candidate Tyler Allen has crossed party lines to endorse Republican Hal Heiner in the race for mayor of Louisville. The co-founder of the grassroots 8664 group, who came in fourth in the Democratic primary, cited Heiner’s ability to lead Louisville from day one and that he will provide a fresh start for Metro government.
“This election is about the serious business of building Louisville’s future and I believe Hal Heiner is the only candidate with the passion and experience to lead this city from day one,” says Allen. “While we may not agree on everything, I firmly believe Hal is a leader we can trust to move this city forward and fulfill the promises of merger. His openness to innovative ideas and willingness to bring new people into the process will make Louisville an even better place to live in the years to come.”
When asked how much Heiner’s position on the $4.1 billion Ohio River Bridges Project played a role in his decision, Allen said that the behemoth public works plan represents they way decisions are made in the community and that the east Louisville Republican has been forthright in a way very few have during the campaign.
“Tyler represents the next generation of leadership in Louisville and I’m honored to have his endorsement,” says Heiner. “His energy and commitment to Louisville was unmatched in the Democratic primary and I look forward to working closely with him as we move forward in the final weeks of this campaign.”
The popular Democrat will actively campaign for Heiner, who represents the 19th District on the Louisville Metro Council. Allen is the second Democratic primary candidate to come out and endorse the east Louisville Republican over Democrat Greg Fischer.
Last month, lifelong Democrat and former mayoral candidate Shannon White backed Heiner, citing his experience and passion to move the city forward. A few days later, council members David Tandy, D-4, and Jim King, D-10, who came in second and third respectively, endorsed Fischer, saying Democrats are united in their support for his vision and leadership.
The first WHAS-11/Courier-Journal poll showed 21 percent of Democrats were behind the GOP nominee, however the latest survey shows Fischer gained five points amongst his based that he said needed to “come home”.
Still, there is anxiety amongst progressive about the Democratic nominees positions or lack thereof, particularly in regards to the bridges project. In this week’s Jerry’s kids, Metro Council President Tom Owen, D-8, who is supporting Fischer, told LEO Weekly his concern about the Louisville businessman’s position, which he says doesn’t help him with voters.
From Jerry’s kids:
“I’ve done everything I can to encourage (Fischer) to emphasize that tolling ought to be on the East End bridge and that it ought to be used to build that bridge now,” says Metro Council President Tom Owen, D-8, who endorsed Fischer. “He needs to be much more clear and stringent in his statements that the East End bridge needs to be the immediate priority and that broad-based tolling should not be part of building it.”
“I think Mr. Heiner thus far appears to me to have a position on that issue that’s closer to mine,” Owen says. “Although Fischer is more nuanced, in this campaign it doesn’t need to be nuanced. It needs to be clear: East End bridge now.”