Filing of ninth city commission candidate triggers May primary

(This sto­ry was updat­ed on Wednesday, Jan. 26 to reflect that Jonathan Taylor, who had ear­li­er filed for 4th dis­trict mag­is­trate, with­drew his name just before the fil­ing dead­line on Tuesday.)

(This sto­ry was updat­ed on Tuesday, Jan. 25 to reflect the addi­tion of Paula Branham Thomas, can­di­date for city com­mis­sion, and Zachary Pritchard, can­di­date for coun­ty con­sta­ble in District 2. )

Unless a bill becomes law to delay this year’s May 17 pri­ma­ry elec­tion until Aug. 2, can­di­dates will have until 4 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 25, to file for office.

If the leg­is­la­tion by Rep. Jerry Miller, R‑Eastwood, is enact­ed as a result of a court chal­lenge over the legislature’s redis­trict­ing plans, then the fil­ing dead­line, too, would be post­poned, until May 31.

Franklin County Democrats are chal­leng­ing in court the Republican majority’s new bound­aries for Kentucky House Districts and con­gres­sion­al dis­tricts, claim­ing they are par­ti­san “ger­ry­man­der­ing.” Gov. Andy Beshear vetoed the bills for both maps, but the Republican super­ma­jori­ties in the House and Senate eas­i­ly over­rode the vetoes. Miller respond­ed by fil­ing a pro­pos­al to delay the pri­ma­ry for this year only so can­di­dates will know where they are running.

Most coun­ty­wide incum­bents face no pri­ma­ry challenges

In Clark County, only a few more can­di­dates have filed for local offices since WCN&V last report­ed on the fil­ings. Several incum­bents in coun­ty gov­ern­ment still have no oppo­si­tion in the pri­maries, but usu­al­ly some can­di­dates wait until the last day to file to see who else is running.

As of Friday after­noon, County Clerk Michelle Turner, County PVA Jason Neely, and Jailer Frank Doyle, all Democrats, are unop­posed in their party’s pri­ma­ry, as are Republican incum­bent offi­cials, County Attorney William Elkins and Sheriff Berl Perdue.

Elkins and Perdue also have drawn no oppo­si­tion for the gen­er­al elec­tion in the fall, but the oth­er coun­ty­wide offi­cials will face chal­lenges from the oth­er par­ty. Turner would run against Paula Edwards, Linda Jako or Daniel Vetter, who are vying for the GOP nom­i­na­tion for coun­ty clerk. Neely would face Republican Jada Brady, and Doyle would run against Republican Paul Wyatt II.

In the race for coun­ty judge-exec­u­tive, there is no incum­bent because Judge Henry Branham, a Democrat who was appoint­ed by the gov­er­nor to fill the posi­tion left vacant by the death of Republican Judge Chris Pace, isn’t run­ning. Two oth­er Democrats are, though: Justin Charles and Vaché King. So are three Republicans: Magistrate Greg Elkins, for­mer state Rep. Les Yates, and Coroner Robert Gayheart.


Except in District 6, there are con­test­ed Republican pri­ma­ry races for all of the mag­is­trates’ seats on the Clark County Fiscal Court.

In District 1, cur­rent Magistrate Daniel Konstantopoulos faces chal­lenger Steven Caudill for the GOP nom­i­na­tion, and in District 2, Travis Thompson, the incum­bent, faces Ernest Pasley. There is no Democratic can­di­date in either district. 

In District 3, Magistrate Joe Graham now faces two oth­er chal­lengers for the Republican nom­i­na­tion, Larry G. Hall and Stephen Craycraft. The win­ner would face Democrat Lee Watts in November if no oth­er Democrat files.

In District 4, two Republicans are vying to replace Greg Elkins, who is not run­ning for re-elec­tion because he’s run­ning for judge-exec­u­tive. They are Tom Korb and Mark Miller.

In District 5, Republican Magistrate Chris Davis faces David Stambaugh II for his party’s nom­i­na­tion, and two Democrats, William Swope II, and Leonard Shortridge, are vying for the Democratic nomination. 

In District 6, Magistrate Robert Blanton, the only Democrat on the Fiscal Court, is unop­posed in his party’s pri­ma­ry. So is his pre­sumed Republican oppo­nent in the fall, Jeremy Wilson. 

These can­di­dates are run­ning for con­sta­ble: District 1: Doug Woodall, Republican. District 2: Brad Wells, Travis McIntosh, and Zachary Pritchard, all Republicans. District 3: Lynn Toler and W. Gerald Ham, Republicans, and Geoff Sebesta, Democrat. District 4: David W. Puckett, Republican, and Phillip Wright, Democrat. District 5: Jerry Edwards, Republican. District 6: open.

Neal Ray Oliver, a Republican, is the only can­di­date for coroner.

No one has filed for sur­vey­or or the con­ser­va­tion dis­trict board. 

School board can­di­dates only run in the gen­er­al elec­tion and do not have to file for the May election.


Clark County’s Republican state leg­is­la­tors, Sen. Ralph Alvarado and Rep. Ryan Dotson, both of Winchester, are unop­posed on the GOP pri­ma­ry bal­lot. There are, how­ev­er, two Democratic can­di­dates, Thomas Weston Adams III and Rory Houlihan, for state rep­re­sen­ta­tive. No Democrat has filed for state senator.

Municipal races

There will be a non­par­ti­san city pri­ma­ry in May, with the Tuesday fil­ing of Paula Branham Thomas, the sis­ter of cur­rent Judge-Executive Henry Branham. The top eight can­di­dates will advance to the gen­er­al elec­tion on Nov. 8.

As it stands now, City Commissioner JoEllen Reed would face busi­ness­man Ralph Harrison in the con­test to suc­ceed long­time Mayor Ed Burtner.

The can­di­dates for city com­mis­sion include Commissioners Shannon Cox and Kitty Strode; for­mer Commissioner Kenny Book; John Flynn, broth­er of Commissioner Ramsey Flynn, who is mov­ing from Winchester; and four oth­ers: Greg Yates, Roi A. Mayes, Robin Kunkel, Hannah Toole, and Paula Branham Thomas.

District judgeship

So far the only con­test­ed judi­cial race is for dis­trict judge between cur­rent District Judge Robert Jennings and Richmond attor­ney Kristin Jane Clouse for the 2nd Division seat in the 25th District. As with the city races, unless one more can­di­date files, they would not have to run against each oth­er until the fall.