Jan. 7 last day to file for party nomination contests
With the filing deadline days away, only a few county officials face challengers in the May 17 primary election.
As of Monday afternoon, only four members of the Clark County Fiscal Court and one constable, all Republicans, were opposed for re-election within their own party.
First District Magistrate Daniel Konstantopoulos has drawn a challenge from Steven Young Caudill; District 2 Magistrate Travis Thompson is opposed by Ernest Wayne Pasley; Joe Graham will face Larry G. Hall in District 3; and 5th District Magistrate Christopher M. Davis is challenged by David Stambaugh II.
There is a Republican primary race in District 4 that does not involve an incumbent because the current magistrate, Greg Elkins, chose to run for county judge-executive instead. The GOP candidates in that race are Tom Korb and Jonathan Taylor.
There is also a Democratic candidate for magistrate in District 5, William J. Swope II, but unless he draws a challenger in his party’s primary, his name will not be on the May 17 ballot.
That also goes for the Fiscal Court’s only Democrat, Magistrate Robert Blanton, who remains unopposed for re-election in both the primary and general elections.
The only constable who has drawn a challenger so far is Shelby Lynn Toler, who is opposed in the Republican primary by William Gerald Ham.
Other incumbent constables who have filed for re-election are Doug Woodall in District 1, David Wayne Puckett in District 4, and Jerry Edwards Jr. in District 5. All are Republicans.
Candidates have until 4 p.m. on Jan. 7 to file for the primaries.
Magistrate Greg Elkins filed for county judge-executive following the death in October of Judge Chris Pace, a Republican. But now two other Republicans have filed. They are Les Yates, a former state representative, and County Coroner Robert Gayheart.
A Democrat, Justin Charles, has also filed, but won’t be on the ballot unless another member of his party challenges him.
Currently, the office is held by a Democrat, Judge Henry Branham, who was county judge before Pace and was appointed to the position again by Gov. Andy Beshear to finish Pace’s term.
Other county offices
County Clerk Michelle Turner, a Democrat, has not drawn a challenger in her party’s primary, but there are two Republican candidates for May: Deputy County Clerk Linda Jako and Paula Edwards.
Two other Democratic incumbents, Jailer Frank Doyle, and Property Valuation Administrator Jason Neely, also have drawn Republican challengers but no challengers in the Democratic primary. The GOP candidate for jailer is Paul Wyatt II, and the Republican in the PVA’s race is Jada Brady, who ran for state representative as a write-in last year.
Republican incumbents Sheriff Berl Perdue Jr. and County Attorney William Elkins have filed for re-election, but at this point, they have no opponents in the GOP primary or the general election.
Neal Ray Oliver, a Republican, is the only candidate for coroner, and no one has filed to run for county surveyor or for the soil and water conservation board.
Winchester Mayor Ed Burtner’s announcement that he would not seek another term left an opening to fill that role.
City Commissioner JoEllen Reed and businessman Ralph Harrison, who challenged Burtner for the job before, have filed.
City elections in Winchester are non-partisan, and unless there is at least one more candidate for mayor, Reed and Harrison will advance to the fall election on Nov. 8.
Reed’s decision to run for mayor and Commissioner Ramsey Flynn’s announcement that he would be stepping down next year because he and his wife are moving out of town leave two open seats on the Winchester Board of Commissioners. If there are no more than eight candidates for the four-member commission, there won’t be a primary for the city legislative body, and all candidates will run in November.
So far, four have filed: Commissioner Kitty Strode, former Commissioner Kenny Book, and two newcomers, Greg Yates and Roi A. Mayes.
Like city races, judicial elections are nonpartisan. So far, the only contested seat is that for the 2nd Division of the 25th District Court. The incumbent, Judge Robert Jennings of Richmond, faces Richmond attorney Kristin Jane Clouse. Interestingly, both their fathers were also judges: William Jennings and William Clouse.
Both Republican incumbents who represent Clark County in Frankfort have filed for re-election, but both are unopposed in the party’s primary.
State Rep. Ryan Dotson, who was elected last year to the 73rd House seat after winning Clark County by just two votes in the GOP primary, so far has no challenger for his party’s nomination this time, but has drawn a Democratic contestant for the fall race, Rory Houlihan.
State Sen. Ralph Alvarado, who represents the 28th District in the Senate, has no opposition in either the primary or the general.
Two Democrats, Geoffrey M. Young of Lexington and Chris Preece of Berea, have filed for the 6th District U.S. House seat held by Republican Andy Barr, who is running for another term and has no opposition in the primary.
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican, has several opponents, including Democrat Charles Booker, who ran a strong second to Amy McGrath for his party’s nomination last year to challenge Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell.