LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Metro Council President David James officially announced that he will run to be Louisville’s next mayor.
James sounded choked up as he thanked his wife for beginning to take the journey with him.
He made the announcement Thursday at Teamsters Local Union 89, telling supporters and labor union members he would be a leader who listened, was accessible, and transparent.
“I want to tell you that I’m going to listen to every single person, everybody, just as I do now and we’ll tackle the things that we have to tackle together,” he said.
During his speech, he stressed the idea of being “one Louisville” and said he had a goal “to make our city a desirable destination for everybody.”
James said there was a lot of work to be done and that with high murder rates and overdose deaths, crime seemed to be on everyone’s mind.
“This is not a west end problem or an east end problem, it’s a city problem,” James said.
He told supporters he was someone who understands what the city needs to grow and someone who will lead with fairness and equity.
“Louisville stands up at a perilous crossroads, it’s a hard time right now, we need a strong leader, a leader with experience, operating a large American city,” he said.
James also touched on the issues of vacant properties and homelessness. He stated transparency, resources, and community involvement were important to fix several of Louisville’s issues.
James was critical of Mayor Greg Fischer’s administration for what he called “frivolous spending.” He also took aim at Fischer’s early response to the Breonna Taylor case.
When asked if he would have fired the officers involved in Taylor’s death, he said he was prohibited by law from answering.
“Transparency is very important. Within a week or two after that incident, after that horrible incident occurred, it was incumbent upon the mayor and the police chief to say what happened and to say they’re sorry for that and it would never happen again and that didn’t happen,” James said.
James went on to defend his 30-year career in law enforcement and said he would work to hold officers accountable while also offering more supports.
“My record speaks for itself, I have been a supporter of police officers, I have been a supporter of community, it’s not an either-or situation, you have to support both,” he said.
A new website, davidjamesformayor.com, is active and accepting campaign donations.
James joins the race as a Democrat after local activist, Shameka Parrish-Wright, announced her candidacy as a Democrat last week.
Last year, James was re-elected to serve a fourth term as the president of the Metro Council.
Current mayor Greg Fischer is serving his third and final term in office.