Coleman Considers Pulling out of Mayor's Race
By Donna Groves
PADUCAH, KY - Robert Coleman says he will decide within ten days whether to withdraw as a candidate for mayor of Paducah over health issues.
"I'm under the weather, and I have been for some time," the 80-year-old Coleman said, in explaining why he didn't show up for a Labor Day forum where his opponent Gayle Kaler spoke Monday afternoon. Coleman had an operation in April and said that it has taken him longer to recover than he expected.
Despite that preventing him from campaigning during the primary, Coleman, along with Kaler, were the top two-vote getters in a four-person race, meaning he moved on to run in the November election. Now, he's considering whether that is in his best interest.
"I've talked with two doctors," Coleman said, "and they said that given my condition, they weren't telling me what to do, but they would tell me this - that my health is to be my top priority."
If Coleman withdraws, Kaler would likely run unopposed. Another candidate could opt to run as a write-in.
When reached for comment, Deputy McCracken County Judge Executive Doug Harnice said he has begun receiving numerous phone calls and emails from supporters, but he will not consider filing a write-in candidacy unless Coleman decidees to drop out. He said it would require serious consideration, especially since write-in candidates face numerous obstacles in the election process.
Harnice finished third in primary voting behind Kaler and Coleman.