By Greg Bird
The deadline is passed and the candidates for the May 22 Primary Election are now known. More than 70 names will appear on the local ballots this spring to help determine the County leadership for the next four years.
With the deadline to register to run for office expiring at 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, a late rush of 14 hopeful politicians converged in County Clerk Eric Haynes’ office over the last few days to officially throw their hats in the ring before the final cut off.
In all, 71 candidates have registered for local offices, though not all will appear on the ballot this spring as four are registered as Independents.
In the Judge Executive race Independent candidate Scottie Morrow has signed up, meaning he will appear on the ballot in the General Election this November.
Meanwhile, five Republicans will square off this May to earn the right to run for the County’s top seat this fall. Jimmie “Bevo” Greene, Vicki Kidd, Michael (Mike) Neal, Mark Sewell and J. Scott Barnett will each vie for the nomination.
A late contender for Sheriff brings the Republican field to five total. Milford Creekmore joins Freddie Clark, Mark E. Keith Donald Daugherty and Joe Horne each contesting for the win on the Republican side. Democrat incumbent Randy Waters will have opposition in the spring as well with Roy Lynch also appearing on the ballot.
The County Attorney race remains unchanged with incumbent Conley Chaney and challenger Austin Price contesting for the seat this spring as Republicans.
The Coroner race between incumbent Tim Corder and challenger Teddy M. Coffey remains unchanged as well.
A late challenger has emerged in the Property Valuation Administer race as Dwight Ross registered Monday to face off against incumbent Bruce Lominac in May. Joni Carson, an employee of the PVA’s office has also registered as a Democrat and has no opposition.
Jailer Jessie Kidd has a late challenger in the Primary Election with the sign up of Alex Jones for the post. (Republican Josh King withdrew last week). In the fall General Election Democrat Derek L. Jones and Independent Tony Hansford will appear on the ballot.
In the Magisterial races competition is heating up as every district has at least three candidates on the Republican ballot, and one race has two Democrats as well.
In District 1 incumbent Leroy “O.L.” Perry has not registered for re-election, leaving his seat up for grabs. Four Republicans: William “Bill” Hale Jr., Teresa Bryant, Brent Marlow and former Magistrate Stan Cox are all vying for the nomination.
The winner of that race will face off against Democrat Lillian Frasure Taylor in the fall.
District 2 sees incumbent Roger Phillips challenged by Israel Clark, Richard “Rick” Stephens and William “Bill” Taylor as Republicans in the race. (EDITOR’S NOTE: The Richard Stephens running for office is not the Richard Stephens, owner of the Voice and Stephens Properties.) Independent Butler E. Waters has filed and will appear on the ballot in the fall.
District 3 incumbent Jason Mann has four Republican challengers: Clayton Worley, Ronald King, Grant Hasty and Bobby Strunk.
Two Democrats: David D. Price and Rodney D. Heath will battle to be on the ballot in November, along with Independent Johnny R. Corder.
District 4 also sees a challenge to the incumbent as Duston Baird will compete against Lonnie W. Creekmore, Randy Maxwell, Jimmy Smith, Vernon Gilreath and Randy Dolen for the Republican nomination. Democrat candidate Hope R. Daugherty is unopposed.
Constable races appear to be the most contested elections this spring with 18 candidates in all.
For District 1 incumbent Bill Hayes is opposed by Darrell Hansford, Jeff Tucker and Tim Higginbotham for the Republican nomination. The winner will face Democrat Chuck Duncan in the fall.
Five Republicans and one Democrat are running in District 2. Tyler Watkins, Josh Goodin, Brad Waters, Jimmy Duncan and Tommy Lewis will appear on the Republican ticket, with Steven Cox the lone Democrat.
The District 3 post is being contested by Kenny Kidd, Thomas Corder, Cody Stephens and Allen Ball as Republicans.
In District 4 Republican incumbent David Kilby is facing opposition from Charles Perry and Jack Lay.
Two races have no opposition in the Primary: Circuit Clerk, and County Clerk. Circuit Clerk Othel King and County Clerk Eric Haynes have no opponents against them.
Jimmy Watters has also registered to run for County Surveyor with no other candidate in the race.
The drawing for ballot positioning will take place today (Thursday) at 2:00 p.m. in the County Clerk’s office.
According to the most recent voter registration data, McCreary County has 11,077 registered voters. The majority are registered Republican (7,779), while Democrats total 2,705. 240 voters are registered as Independent, 342 as “other”, 8 as Libertarian, I Green Party and 2 Constitution Party. Woman voters outnumber male voters 5,706 to 5,371.
The final day to register to vote in the Primary Election will be April 23.
In other races Republican Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers, running for re-election in the United States House of Representatives 5th Congressional District faces a challenger in the Primary – Gerardo Serrano of Tyler, Kentucky. Democrats Kenneth S. Stepp, of Manchester and Scott Sykes of Elkhorn, will fight to appear on the ballot in the fall.
Kentucky Representative Ken Upchurch has no opposition in the Primary for the Republican nomination in the 52nd District, but two Democrats: Yeovanny Pino and Dean Sumpter will battle for their party’s nomination.
Three candidates will contest for a seat on the Kentucky Supreme Court 3rd District as Dan Ballou, Kenneth Tapp and Debra Lambert each are registered for the position.
Ronnie Bowling Jr., and Grahm C. Trimble are both running as Republicans for the Commonwealths Attorney post vacated by the retirement of Allen Trimble this past year.