By Nita Johnson
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — LONDON — The list of candidates seeking election this year expanded consistently throughout January as the filing deadline drew near. Several candidates waited until late Tuesday afternoon, the last day to file, with the final count for local elections reaching 80 at the end of the day.
Although the Republicans dominated the candidacy, three Democrats stepped out to seek offices.
Magisterial and constable races offer the most competition, with six districts represented throughout the county. Although only one magisterial seat is unopposed, 10 Republican candidates in District 1 and seven candidates in District 3 are vying to oversee county government. The six Constable positions up for grabs this election year list 21 hopefuls, with the hottest district being District 4 with eight Republican candidates and one Democrat.
The major government seats in the city and county government will both offer a competition, while the races for county attorney, county clerk, sheriff, property valuation administrator, county surveyor, and coroner will list only the incumbents who seek re-election.
The list of those who filed for the May primary races are:
Mayor (non-Partisan): Troy Rudder (incumbent), and Jack Riley
City Council (non-Partisan): Kelly Greene, Joyce Larkey Barboa, and incumbents: Judd Weaver, Bobby Joe Parman, Danny Phelps, Nancy Vaughn, Jason Handy, and James E. “Jim” Hays
County Judge Executive: David Westerfield (incumbent) and Jerry Hollon, Republican; Lawrence Kuhl, Democrat
Magistrate, District 1 - Republican: Roy Crawford (incumbent), Sharon Benge, Mike Samples, Melvin Brewer, Albert Yaden, Chris Turner, Jack Smith, Chris Hollin, Donnie Lee Philpot, and Granville Gambrel
Magistrate, District 2 - Republican: Danny Smith (incumbent), Charles McFarland, Chuck Slone, Rickey Burns, and Bobby L. Owens
Magistrate, District 3 - Republican: Teddy Benge (incumbent), Carl Brown, Maynard A. Parker, Junior Hammons, Jason Brown, Bobby Overbay, and Rufus Fields
Magistrate, District 4 - Republican: Jeff Book (incumbent)
Magistrate, District 5 - Republican: Billy Oakley (incumbent), Jerry Sizemore, Lomman Gregory, and Phil Ranson
Magistrate, District 6 - Republican: Noah Baker (incumbent), Charles Hoskins, Richard D. Bales, and Robert T. Smith
Property Valuation Administrator: Joyce Garland Parker, Republican (incumbent)
County Attorney: Jodi L. Albright, Republican (incumbent)
County Clerk: Dean Johnson, Republican (incumbent)
Sheriff: John Root, Republican (incumbent)
Coroner: Doug Bowling, Republican (incumbent)
County Surveyor: Chris Hubbard, Republican (incumbent)
Jailer: Jamie Mosley, Republican (incumbent), Darryl Wayne Bolton, Republican
Constable, District 1 - Republican: Tim May (incumbent), Chris Webb, and Dennis Keith Dinsmore
Constable, District 2 - Republican: Barry Johnson II, Steve Cornn and Anthony Hill
Constable, District 3 - Republican: Jimmy L. Lewis, Brad Smith, and Glenn Wesley Benge
Constable, District 4 - Republican: Carl R. Cheek, William Hacker, Bobby Joe Smith, Justin Noe, Edward Allen, Hank R. Vaughn, Clifford Caldwell, and Dwayne Huff; Democrat: Kenneth W. Ellington
Constable, District 5 - Republican: Harley Hammack
Constable, District 6 - Republican: Denver Mays and Harold Frye
In the state races for District, Circuit and Family Court Judges for the 27th Judicial Circuit, the only competition is for Family Court Judge for Laurel and Knox counties, which are also non-Partisan. Those offices are:
Circuit Judge: Division 1 - Greg Lay; Division 2 - Tom Jensen
District Judge: Division 1 - John Paul Chappell; Division 2 - Wendell “Skip” Hammons
Family Court Judge: Durenda Lundy Lawson (incumbent), Steve Jones, and Marilyn Benge McGhee
For those offices in which more than one candidate is seeking election, the May primary election will determine the winner of the particular party by the highest number of voters. Under Kentucky law, the May primary allows registered voters to choose the candidate of their particular party only, with the November general election pitting the Republican candidate against the Democratic candidate. No Independent candidates filed for the 2014 elections in Laurel County.
The city council candidates will not be listed on the May primary ballot locally, but registered voters in the city will make their choices for that race in November, with the six top vote getters succeeding to the council seats.