As of Wednesday, eight have filed for city board, two for mayor

Winchester will have a new may­or in 2023, and at least half of the seats on the city com­mis­sion will be held by peo­ple who aren’t serv­ing now.

With every city office on the bal­lot this year, many are running.

As of Wednesday, there were eight can­di­dates for the Winchester Board of Commissioners. If there’s one more, there must be a pri­ma­ry to reduce that num­ber for the gen­er­al elec­tion in November. The same goes for the mayor’s race if anoth­er can­di­date throws their hat into the ring.

Longtime Mayor Ed Burtner announced ear­ly last year that he would not seek anoth­er term. Almost as soon as he did, City Commissioner JoEllen Reed filed for may­or. Then busi­ness­man Ralph Harrison, who had repeat­ed­ly chal­lenged Burtner, announced he would run again.

Reed’s deci­sion meant that one of the board seats would not be defend­ed by an incum­bent. Then before the end of 2021, City Commissioner Ramsey Flynn made it known he, too, would be step­ping down because he and his wife were mov­ing to Lake Cumberland.

The most recent can­di­date to join the race is Flynn’s broth­er, John F. Flynn, who filed Jan. 7. That had been the fil­ing dead­line until the state leg­is­la­ture last week changed it to Jan. 25 because of redistricting.

The day before, Hannah Toole, who ran in 2020, filed to run again.

Former Commissioner Kenny Book is back again as a can­di­date after hav­ing been unseat­ed by Flynn.

And incum­bents Kitty Strode and Shannon Cox are run­ning again for re-election.

Joining them are new­com­ers Greg Yates, Roi A. Mayes, and Robin Kunkel.

City com­mis­sion­ers are elect­ed at-large, and the four with the most votes are elect­ed. But if there are nine or more, they will have to run twice — in the spring and the fall. Likewise, if there are three can­di­dates for may­or, the top two who emerge on May 17 will face each oth­er again on Nov. 8.

City offices are also non­par­ti­san, so any reg­is­tered vot­er with­in the city lim­its, regard­less of their par­ty affil­i­a­tion, would be allowed to vote for city can­di­dates if there is a non­par­ti­san May primary.

County judge-executive

The death last fall of County Judge-Executive Chris Pace has cre­at­ed a sim­i­lar wide-open race for the county’s top administrator.

County pri­ma­ry races are par­ti­san, mean­ing can­di­dates run as either Democrats or Republicans, and only mem­bers of those par­ties can vote in May to choose the nom­i­nees for the gen­er­al election.

On the Republican side, can­di­dates for coun­ty judge include Magistrate Greg Elkins, for­mer state rep­re­sen­ta­tive Les Yates, and Coroner Robert Gayheart.

The Democratic can­di­dates are Justin Patrick Charles and Vaché L. King.

County Judge-Executive Henry Branham, who was appoint­ed by the gov­er­nor to fill the vacan­cy after Pace’s death, and who had been coun­ty judge before him, has said he won’t be a can­di­date this time.

Other county offices

So far, County Clerk Michelle Turner, a Democrat, did not have an oppo­nent in her party’s pri­ma­ry. But three can­di­dates are vying for the Republican Party’s nom­i­na­tion, includ­ing Deputy County Clerk Linda Jako, Paula Edwards, and Daniel E. Vetter, who filed Wednesday.

County Attorney William D. Elkins and Sheriff Berl Perdue Jr., both Republicans, at this point have no oppo­si­tion in either the GOP pri­ma­ry or the gen­er­al election.

Like Turner, Property Valuation Administrator Jason Neely and Jailer Frank Doyle have no oppo­si­tion yet in the Democratic pri­ma­ry, but both have Republican oppo­nents who have filed for the fall. Jada Brady is run­ning for PVA, and Paul Wyatt II is run­ning for jailer.

Neal Ray Oliver, a Republican, is the only can­di­date so far for coro­ner, and as of Wednesday, no one was run­ning for coun­ty sur­vey­or or for the soil and water con­ser­va­tion dis­trict board.

Clark County Fiscal Court

County mag­is­trates are elect­ed by dis­trict, and five of the six dis­tricts have Republican pri­ma­ry con­tests, but unless more Democrats file, none of them will be on the bal­lot until November.

In District 1, incum­bent Daniel Konstantopoulos is chal­lenged in the GOP pri­ma­ry by Steven Young Caudill, a retired police officer.

In District 2, Republican Magistrate Travis Thompson is defend­ing his seat against Ernest Wayne Pasley in the primary.

No Democrat is run­ning in either District 1 or 2.

District 3 Magistrate Joe Graham faces Larry G. Hall in the Republican pri­ma­ry, and one Democrat, Lee Watts, has also filed for that seat.

Three Republicans have filed for the District 4 seat that Greg Elkins is giv­ing up to run for coun­ty judge. They are Tom Korb, Jonathan Taylor and Mark Darry Miller.

No Democrat has filed for District 4.

Magistrate Christopher M. Davis is being chal­lenged by a fel­low Republican, David Stambaugh II. Whoever wins the GOP pri­ma­ry would face Democrat William J. Swope in the fall if no oth­er Democrat runs for the office.


Except for Doug Rose, who resigned last year, all the con­sta­bles are run­ning for re-elec­tion. All are Republicans. They are Doug Woodall in District 1, Brad James Wells in District, Shelby Lynn Toler in District 3, David Wayne Puckett in District 4 and Jerry Edwards Jr. in District 5.

Wells and Toler have drawn pri­ma­ry oppo­nents: Travis J. McIntosh in District 2 and William Gerald Ham in District 3.

A cou­ple of Democrats are also run­ning for con­sta­ble: Geoff Sebesta in District 3 and Phillip Wright in District 4.

At this point, Woodall and Edwards are unop­posed in both the pri­ma­ry and the general.

State legislature

Republican state Rep. Ryan Dotson of Winchester, who was elect­ed in 2020, has no one run­ning against him in the May pri­ma­ry, but two Democrats are com­pet­ing to chal­lenge him in the fall. They are attor­ney Thomas Weston Adams III and Rory Houlihan, both from Clark County.

State Sen. Ralph Alvarado, R‑Winchester, has filed for re-elec­tion by has no one run­ning against him as of late Wednesday.


U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R‑Ky., has four Republicans chal­leng­ing him in the pri­ma­ry, but none who have any name recog­ni­tion. There are also four Democrats who have filed, includ­ing for­mer state Rep. Charles Booker of Louisville, who ran a close sec­ond in the 2020 6th District primary.

In the 6th District this year, U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R‑Ky., has one pri­ma­ry chal­lenger, Derek Petteys of Lexington. Two Democrats have also filed: Chris Preece of Berea and Geoffrey M. Young of Lexington.


There is one judi­cial race that is con­test­ed this year, but it prob­a­bly won’t be on the bal­lot until the fall.

In the 25th Judicial District, Judge Robert Jennings is being chal­lenged in the 2nd Division by Richmond attor­ney Kristin Jane Clouse. Both their fathers were judges as well.

In Divisions 1 and 3, respec­tive­ly, District Judges Charles Hardin and Earl Ray Neal are unopposed.

So are Circuit Judges Cole Adams Maier of Winchester and Brandy Oliver Brown of Berea and Family Court Judges Nora J. Shepherd of Lexington and Kimberly Blair Walson of Winchester.

Fifth District Court of Appeals Judges Pamela R. Goodwine and Glenn Acree, both of Lexington, have also filed but have no challengers.