Familiar foes face off in Metro Council District 21 race

Updated: May. 18, 2018 at 9:22 PM EDT
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District 21 candidate Nicole George. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
District 21 candidate Nicole George. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Councilman Vitalis Lanshima, District 21. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
Councilman Vitalis Lanshima, District 21. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A race to become the next democratic nominee for the Metro Council District 21 seat, previously vacated by Dan Johnson, will soon be decided.

Voters head to the polls next Tuesday and the candidates to pick from will be familiar.

Vitalis Lanshima is the current representative. He was appointed to the seat last year by Metro Council.

WATCH >> Interview with District 21 candidate Vitalis Lanshima

"I spend a lot of time trying to understand the policies, and the real polices that impact everyone of us," Lanshima said.

Nicole George fought for the same position then, but lost to Lanshima.

WATCH >> Interview with District 21 candidate Nicole George

"Folks here appreciate and honor hard work," George said, regarding why she feels confident heading into the election now despite the previous loss. "I've certainly put in the leg work to do the job."

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George will take on Lanshima in the primary Tuesday, and spent Friday knocking on doors, speaking to people in her district.

"My background in social work, working with families and the community, as well as my personal investment in the community," George said, regarding her fitness for the job.

Both said safety, youth engagement and economic development are issues they are campaigning on.

George adds that she'd focus on infrastructure issues like fixing drainage systems and reducing airport noise.

"I've been an active community member, lived in the district twelve years, engaged in lots of volunteerism and board service," George added.

Lanshima, who is an immigr ant, said issues surrounding immigr ants, people with disabilities and low income families are important to him.

Since his appointment to Metro Council, he's faced controversy.  Lanshima was fired from his position as a special education teacher for "conduct unbecoming of a teacher," but appealed the dismissal and was reinstated.

"As an employee you know sometimes people will have accusations against you, then, there are just a lot of parts to play out," Lanshima said. "In my situation, it played out."

While the political duel has played out before, both candidates said, this time around, they're the best equipped for the job.

"It was thought that I'd be dependent on society for the rest of my life, I have proved that wrong. If we can empower people, they can do things way above the limits that are set on them," Lanshima said.

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