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.
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.
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.