By Nita Johnson
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Election year for local officials is upon us and discussions on this year’s elections have already begun.
Keeping up with the latest candidate filings have been a challenge, not so much at the local level, but in learning how to navigate the state website. Then having to research which particular districts Laurel County falls into on that website posed a second challenge.
Reflections back to the 2010 election brought back an often overlooked similarity in our local officials.
In May 2010, citizens went to the polls to narrow down the local candidates into the top vote drawer for Sheriff, Jailer, County Attorney, PVA, County Clerk, Mayor, city council members, magistrates, constables and circuit and district judges and state and U.S. representatives.
The general election in November of that year produced a resounding similarity in the persons chosen to take office on Jan. 3, 2011. The winners were predominantly persons whose names began with “J.” John Root was elected as Sheriff, Jodi (J.L.) Albright stepped up to County Attorney, Jamie Mosley succeeded Jack Sizemore as Jailer, Joyce Garland Parker retained her seat as Property Valuation Administrator, and Dean Johnson was successful in retaining his long-time role as Laurel County Clerk. Former state representative and London attorney Tom Jensen went to the judgeship in the 27th Judicial Circuit of Laurel and Knox counties in 2010. Toss in Jackie Steele as Commonwealth Attorney, and the majority of leadership is dominated by names beginning with the letter J.
The 2014 campaign includes a few more “J” names with former Sheriff’s Deputy Jerry Hollon tossing his name into the hat for County Judge Executive and Crossroads Volunteer firefighter Justin Noe joining the race for constable in District 4 magisterial area.
With two weeks left to file for the 2013 elections, the Democrats have yet to produce a candidate to oppose the Republican incumbents. There is no requirement that potential candidates must have a “J” in their name in order to run. But with the local trend of names starting with J in political office, it probably wouldn’t hurt!