Voted printed papers on white surface

There was no elec­tion in Clark County in 2021, but can­di­dates are lin­ing up for a big one next year, when all the coun­ty and city elect­ed offices will be on the ballot.

Among them are the office of Clark County judge-exec­u­tive and may­or of Winchester.

As of Tuesday, three can­di­dates have filed for coun­ty judge: two Republicans, Magistrate Greg Elkins and Les Yates, the for­mer state rep­re­sen­ta­tive, and one Democrat, Justin Patrick Charles.

In October, coun­ty judge-exec­u­tive Chris Pace died of Covid-19, and Gov. Andy Beshear appoint­ed Henry Branham, the long­time Democratic incum­bent that Pace had defeat­ed for re-elec­tion in 2018, to fill the vacan­cy. Branham has not said pub­licly whether he will run for anoth­er term next year.

Les Yates, GOP can­di­date for coun­ty judge-executive

County magistrates

Win or lose, Elkins’ can­di­da­cy for judge-exec­u­tive will leave a wide-open race for District 4 mag­is­trate, but no one has filed yet for his seat on the Clark County Fiscal Court.

There are can­di­dates, how­ev­er, for the oth­er five mag­is­te­r­i­al seats. In District 1, incum­bent Daniel Konstantopoulos, a Republican, will face retired police offi­cer Steven Caudill for his party’s nomination.

In District 2, Magistrate Travis Thompson, a Winchester Police offi­cer, has drawn a Republican pri­ma­ry chal­lenger, Ernest Pasley.

District 3 Magistrate Joe Graham will face Larry G. Hall in the Republican pri­ma­ry, and in District 5, Magistrate Christopher M. Davis faces a fel­low Republican in the pri­ma­ry, David Stambaugh II.

The county’s lone Democratic mag­is­trate, Robert Blanton, is so far the only can­di­date who has filed for District 6.

Partisan can­di­dates have until Jan. 7 to file for the May 17 pri­ma­ry, but if they change their par­ty affil­i­a­tion, they must change their vot­er reg­is­tra­tion to reflect that change by Dec. 31 or they will be exclud­ed from run­ning as a Democrat or a Republican in the primary.

Independents and third-par­ty can­di­dates have until next sum­mer to file.

Greg Elkins, GOP can­di­date for coun­ty judge-executive

City races

After four terms as may­or of Winchester, Ed Burtner announced on Nov. 2 that he would not be seek­ing re-elec­tion. Burtner, who was city man­ag­er for many years before he was may­or, wouldn’t say whether he was retir­ing from pol­i­tics, only that he wouldn’t run for may­or again.

City Commissioner JoEllen Reed, an edu­ca­tor who is also a for­mer coun­ty com­mis­sion­er, was the first to file for may­or. Also in the non­par­ti­san race is Ralph Harrison, a Winchester busi­ness own­er who ran unsuc­cess­ful­ly against Burtner mul­ti­ple times.

Of the four seats on the Winchester Board of Commissioners, at least two will have new mem­bers. Reed can’t run for re-elec­tion because she’s run­ning for may­or, and Commissioner Ramsey Flynn announced recent­ly he and his wife have bought a house in south­ern Kentucky and will be moving.

So far, only one can­di­date, Greg Yates, has filed for the city commission.

If there aren’t enough can­di­dates for a non­par­ti­san pri­ma­ry on May 17, all will be on the bal­lot in the Nov. 8 gen­er­al election.

Commissioners are elect­ed at-large and rep­re­sent the whole city, not a district.

County offices

Other than incum­bents, few have filed for oth­er coun­ty gov­ern­ment offices, which are elect­ed on a par­ti­san basis and serve four-year terms.

Incumbent Republicans County Attorney William D. Elkins and Sheriff Berl Perdue Jr. have both filed for re-elec­tion but have not drawn chal­lengers, either in the pri­ma­ry or gen­er­al election.

Two Democratic incum­bents, County Clerk Michelle Turner and Property Valuation Administrator Jason Neely, have no oppo­si­tion yet in their party’s pri­ma­ry but have Republican oppo­nents for the fall elec­tion. Paula Edwards has filed as a Republican for coun­ty clerk, and Jada Brady has filed as a Republican for PVA.

Republican Paul Wyatt II is the only can­di­date who has filed for the office of jail­er, cur­rent­ly held by Frank Doyle, and Republican Neal Ray Oliver is the only one who has filed for the coroner’s office held by Robert Gayheart.

No one has filed for coun­ty sur­vey­or or for seats on the soil and water con­ser­va­tion board.

State legislators

Pastor and busi­ness­man Ryan Dotson, who was elect­ed last fall to his first term as state rep­re­sen­ta­tive after hav­ing nar­row­ly defeat­ed the incum­bent, Les Yates, in the Republican spring pri­ma­ry, is so far unop­posed for a sec­ond term. He rep­re­sents the 73rd District, which includes all of Clark County and a small part of Madison County.

Neither state Sen. Ralph Alvarado, R‑Winchester, nor any chal­lenger has filed for the 28th state Senate seat, which rep­re­sents Clark and Montgomery coun­ties and part of Fayette.


So far two Democrats have filed for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who has said he will run again but has not filed. They are Charles Booker, who rep­re­sent­ed Louisville in the Kentucky House and ran unsuc­cess­ful­ly last year for the Democratic nom­i­na­tion for the seat held since 1985 by for­mer Republican Senate Leader Mitch McConnell, and John Merrill. Also, a Republican, Tami L. Stanfield of Marion, has filed for the primary.

The only can­di­date to file for the Central Kentucky 6th District U.S. House seat held by Republican Congressman Andy Barr of Lexington is Geoffrey M. Young, a Lexington Democrat.

Judicial races

In the non­par­ti­san con­test for dis­trict judge in the 2nd Division of the 25th District, incum­bent Judge Robert Jennings, who is the son of retired Judge William Jennings, has drawn a chal­lenge from Kristin Jane Clouse, the daugh­ter of anoth­er retired judge, Bill Clouse.

Judge Charles W. Hardin has filed again for the 1st Division, and Judge Earl-Ray Neal has filed again for the 3rd Division.

All of the can­di­dates for the dis­trict judge­ship are from Richmond.

Circuit Judge Cole Maier, a for­mer dis­trict judge and daugh­ter of retired Judge Julia Adams, is so far unop­posed after hav­ing been recent­ly appoint­ed to fill a vacan­cy on the high­er bench.

Two have filed for the 25th Circuit Family Court judge­ships, Nora J. Shepherd of Lexington in the 3rd Division and Kimberly Blair Walson of Winchester in the 4th.

In the 5th District of the Court of Appeals, Pamela R. Goodwine has filed for the 1st Division and Glenn Acree for the 2nd. Both are from Lexington.