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KY State Senate map puts McCreary in new district

McCreary County could lose Senator Max Wise to Senator Robert Stivers

By Eugenia Jones

If the proposed maps for Kentucky’s State House, Senate, and Congressional districts are approved, there will be a significant change for McCreary County.  Based on the 2020 census data indicating a decline in population for McCreary County and the eastern portion of the state, redrawn maps remove McCreary County from its current Senate district and land it on the southern fringe of Senate District 25.

The proposed maps keep McCreary County (along with Wayne and a portion of Pulaski County) in the 52nd  District of the House of Representatives with State Representative Ken Upchurch.  However, in the newly drawn state Senate map, McCreary County moves from the 16th   Senate District with State Senator Max Wise to the 25th Senate District with State Senator (and Senate President) Robert Stivers, a Republican from Manchester, KY.  The newly drawn 25th Senate district consists of McCreary, Whitley, Knox, Clay, Owsley, and Jackson Counties.

As a result of redistricting, the deadline for candidates filing to run in Kentucky Senate, House of Representatives, and Congressional races is expected to be extended from Friday, January 7 at 4:00 p.m. until January 25.  The deadline to file for local races currently remains January 7 at 4:00 p.m.; however a possible extension of the deadline for local races is pending legislative vote on Saturday.   The United States Constitution mandates states to redraw their maps every ten years based on census population numbers.  The redistricting process can result in minimal or, as in the case of McCreary County’s 2022 proposed redistricting, significant changes within counties and/or districts.

Kentucky legislators are expected to vote on the proposed redrawn maps on Saturday.  If the governor vetoes the maps, legislators are expected to meet quickly to override his veto.

The proposed maps for KY State Senate and House of Representatives will go into effect upon the signature of the governor or an override of his possible veto.  The governor has ten days to sign his approval.      

Sixty year old Senator Bertram Robert Stivers II, who will become McCreary County’s state Senator if the maps are approved, has represented the 25th Senate District since 1997 and has served as President of the Kentucky Senate since 2013.  

In McCreary’s 52nd District of the Kentucky House of Representative, long-time incumbent Republican Ken Upchurch filed his candidacy for re-election earlier this week.  As of press time, Upchurch will be challenged as the Republican nominee in the May primary by McCreary County Circuit Court Clerk Othel King who filed in December. 

“I have filed to run for re-election,” Upchurch stated.  “I intend to vigorously defend my record and have a good discussion about issues affecting the 52nd District.  I look forward to representing the people of the 52nd District into the next term.”

In Local Races

In local races, an unusually low number of candidates have filed to run for McCreary County office. 

Republicans Milford Creekmore and Charles Smith are the latest candidates to file in the McCreary County Sheriff’s primary race.  As of now, Creekmore and Smith will face off against fellow Republican David Sampson in May.  Incumbent Sheriff Randy Waters is currently running unopposed on the Democratic primary ticket.

Republican incumbent Judge-executive Jimmie “Bevo” Greene is presently the only candidate who has filed in the Judge-Executive race.

Other candidates who have filed in local races include:  County Attorney-Austin Price (R)/ County Clerk- Eric Haynes (R)/ Jailer-Jessie Hatfield (R), Alex Jones (R), Trevin McCullough (R)/ PVA-Dwight Ross (R)/ Coroner-Timothy Corder (R)/ Magistrate (District 1: all Republican)-William “Bill” Hale, Wanda Lee Ridener, and William “Mike” Jones/ Magistrate (District 2)-Roger Phillips (R)/  Magistrate (District 3)- Bobby Strunk (R) and  Clayton Worley (R)/ Magistrate (District 4)-Randy Maxwell (R)/ Constable (District 1-all Republican) Willie Rollins, Jonathan Taylor, Darrell Hansford, and Billy Hayes/ Constable (District 2)-Freddie Clark (R)/  Constable (District 3-all Republican)-Kenny Kidd, Cody Stephens, and Thomas Trammell/ Constable (District 4)-Dillon Perry (R) and David Kilby (R).

In the 34th District Judge races, incumbent Cathy E. Prewitt and Seth Reeves have filed for the 34th/1st District, and Fred F. White has filed in the 34th/2nd.

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