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Craig Greenberg wins Democratic nod for Louisville mayor soon after surviving shooting attempt

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Craig Greenberg has won the Democratic primary for mayor of Louisville, months after surviving a shooting attempt in Kentucky’s largest city.

A businessman, Greenberg beat out a crowded field of eight candidates in Tuesday’s primary to secure the nomination, campaigning on pledges to improve public safety and restore transparency and confidence in the city’s government.

LIVE: 2022 Kentucky Primary Election Results

He will be buoyed in November by the Democrats’ heavy numerical advantage over Republicans in Louisville.

Greenberg has said the shooting attempt during the primary campaign only strengthened his understanding of the need to quell gun violence in the city.

A local social justice activist was charged in connection with the shooting and remains in federal custody.

Current Mayor Greg Fischer is ending his third four-year term.

Greenberg helped start Louisville-based 21c Museum Hotels, building the company to more than 1,100 employees. The company is credited with helping revive Main Street in downtown Louisville and other urban neighborhoods across the country.

The ultimate winner of the mayoral race will have to steer Kentucky’s largest city through an ongoing pandemic, a spike in gun violence, and the prospect that Louisville could face a $70 million budget shortfall by 2024. Many residents also are still reeling from the March 2020 death of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old Black woman shot in her apartment during a botched police raid.

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Louisville’s police department remains under federal investigation and many of the city’s residents want to see improvements in public safety.

In March, a jury acquitted the only officer criminally charged in the Taylor raid, leaving many activists in the city with the feeling that the city’s justice system had failed Taylor and her family. “We demand the truth, we demand transparency,” Bianca Austin, Taylor’s aunt, said at a memorial in March for her niece’s death.

Tensions flared anew in the city in February when Greenberg was shot at but escaped unharmed from the attack at a campaign office. One staffer managed to shut the door, which they barricaded using tables and desks, and the suspect fled. Greenberg was not hit, but he said a bullet grazed his sweater.

The suspect in the shooting, Quintez Brown, 22, has been charged with “interfering with a federally protected right, and using and discharging a firearm in relation to a crime of violence by shooting at and attempting to kill a candidate for elective office. He remains in federal custody.

If convicted of all federal charges, Brown faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison in addition to any sentence he receives on state charges of attempted murder and wanton endangerment. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Federal prosecutors have alleged that Brown, a former editorial columnist for the Courier Journal, wanted to kill Greenberg to prevent him from winning the mayoral race, citing Brown’s internet search history, text messages, and online posts around the time of the February shooting.