Louisville Magazine

OCT 2018

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

Issue link: https://loumag.epubxp.com/i/1033109

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Page 55 of 144

LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 10.18 53 Angela Leet is running late. It's a little after 9:30 one ursday morning in the sweaty end of August, and the sun is getting hotter by the minute at the Patriots Peace Memorial on River Road. A few more minutes pass, and then, there's no mistaking Leet's entrance: a Ford F-150 with a giant, all-caps "LEET"; a fleur-de-lis that's almost the size of the truck door; and, in a casual script, "Louisville Mayor 2018." Underneath the driver's-side window is a photo of Leet large enough to balance out the fleur-de-lis — her blond, curled hair rests on a pink shirt, accented with a silver pendant necklace. As the truck rolls to a stop, the window slides down and the real-life version emerges. "Your carriage has arrived," Leet says, with French-manicured hands on the wheel and a full- faced smile that makes the top of her nose crinkle. It's a charm that rarely comes across in newspaper and TV coverage of the District 7 councilwoman and Republican mayoral candidate — the first woman nominee in the city's history. "Today's already been crazy for me," the 49-year- old says. "We had a closed-down road in the district" — hers runs south from the river, through parts of Indian Hills, to the malls on Shelbyville Road and east along parts of Westport Road — "so I sent out a news alert this morning to all my district constituents, so they knew which way to approach the school, 'cause it was in a school zone." at was at 7. en she got her sons, 14 and 16, off to school at Sacred Heart Model School and St. Xavier High School. Knee surgery she had a month ago for a torn meniscus has her in physical therapy a couple mornings a week. "Came back, showered, did my makeup, got dressed. I also sent probably three texts and glanced at the paper before I got to you this morning." Leet heads to Valley High School on Dixie Highway for the ribbon cutting of the school's Industrial Maintenance Academy, a partnership with UPS and one of more than a dozen Academies of Louisville that JCPS has rolled out over the last two school years. rough her work as a Leadership Louisville Bingham Fellow last year, tasked with the issue "Winning the Talent of the Future," Leet By Mary Chellis Nelson Photos by Jessica Ebelhar mentored a Valley student and keeps ties to the school. She has on a navy sleeveless dress and a highlighter- yellow jacket — school colors. Her navy, chunky-heeled Tod's sandals clap on the sidewalk as she circles the school, looking for an entrance. Bright teal polish — a variation of the shades of blue used throughout her campaign signage — makes her toenails pop. Her gait is a little off from the surgery, so she moves as though she's stubbed her toe. And then she just about does stub her toe when she trips over a rubber doorstopper in the ground near an entrance. ("at'll probably be part of the story," she'll say later, without an ounce of embarrassment.) "Hi! How're you?" Leet says to a man outside. "Hard to walk fast in those, ain't it?" he says. "Are you kidding?" she says. "is is low!" "I should have parked in the grass," says a woman also making the trek. "Well," Leet says, "I'm a rule follower." When Leet entered Metro Council in January 2015, she plunged into the heated debate about the site of a planned VA hospital. An environmental engineer, Leet repeatedly demanded that an environmental-impact study be conducted on the site that the government had purchased nearly a decade prior, in the East End near the intersection of Brownsboro Road and I-264, in Leet's district. (e project is now going forward at the site.) As the city's homicide rate ballooned through 2015 and 2016, Leet became a nagging critic of LMPD Chief Steve Conrad and was the first councilperson to publicly call for his resignation. Leet has turned up the heat on Conrad and Mayor Greg Fischer — as have her council colleagues — about the department's educational Youth Explorer Program, from which sex- abuse allegations surfaced against two former officers. It's been a back-and-forth of who knew what when, what was done about it and is the public in the dark at all. Fischer insists that he addressed the issue as soon as he knew something, involving the FBI and going so far as to order an independent audit of every city department. But inconsistencies in Fischer's, Conrad's and Deputy Mayor Ellen Hesen's statements in court have Leet and others questioning the mayor's transparency. Last fall, Leet made her run for mayor official when she dropped her first campaign video. In it, she's polished and steady, a constipated version of her usual unhinged self, touting her qualifications and calling out the city's crime rates and drug epidemic. "e story you have heard for the last several years has been one of fiction, telling us that bike lanes will lead us to prosperity and growth. Instead, we've been led down a dead-end road to another homicide," she says in closing. "I told Fischer one time, I said, 'Yep, someday I'll run for mayor,'" Leet says later. "He said, 'at's good. We need everybody. We need people.' He wouldn't say that now. But I didn't expect to run against him." Will Angela Leet be the city's first Republican mayor in 50 years?

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