Through his family business, Gray Construction, Jim’s life work has been about creating opportunities for people. He has worked across Kentucky and the United States helping companies realize their own dreams to create good jobs, right. Over 38 years, in 37 states, on 831 projects, Gray has helped create nearly 22,000 jobs. Jim served as President and CEO of Gray Construction, now an international company. He is currently Chairman of the Board.
In 2010, Jim was elected as the first openly gay Mayor of Lexington where he has put his business experience to work in City Hall. Under Jim’s leadership, Lexington is on the right track. When Jim took office, unemployment stood at 8.4% in Lexington. Today unemployment is historically low after 15,000 new jobs have been created since he took office. Lexington is an economic engine for the state, but more importantly, Lexington workers are earning 13.5% more on average.
Jim used his decades of business experience to get Lexington’s finances in order, taking a city budget with a $30 million deficit to create surpluses year after year. As a result, the local economy is strong and growing, tax dollars are properly managed and investments in public safety and quality of life are top priorities.
Under Jim’s leadership, job growth in Lexington increased five times faster than the state average. He reformed the city’s health insurance and pension systems saving taxpayers more than $100 million. Today, national publications rank Lexington as one of the best places to live, one of the best cities to start a business, one of the safest cities in America and a great place to retire.
Jim is ready to take this same experience to deliver results for all Kentuckians. The challenge in business, and even more challenging in government, is to translate vision into action. Jim is ready to work hard and take action to bring good jobs back to Kentucky and protect us at home and abroad.
Too many people in Washington simply talk without listening, and in a city full of dysfunction and gridlock, it’s time to bring back common-sense solutions.