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.

County judge-executive

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.

City races

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.

Judicial contests

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.

State legislature

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.