Somerset — And the mayor makes three.
Eddie Girdler has filed nomination papers for reelection to a second term as mayor of Somerset, making necessary a primary election for the head man at City Hall.
The May 18 primary, unless somebody else files, will pit Girdler against former Mayor JP Wiles and Larry Wesley, former Somerset police chief and currently chief deputy for the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department. Girdler upset Wiles in the 2006 local elections.
Nonpartisan elections in Somerset require a primary if more than two candidates file for mayor, or in any of the 12 city wards. The two top vote-getters advance to the November general election.
Somerset is divided into 12 wards to assure equal representation on city council for all parts of the city. Each councilor must live in the ward he or she represents but all members of the council are elected citywide. If any ward has more than two candidates, a citywide primary election is held in that ward to reduce the number of candidates to two.
There seems no rush at the moment to file for Somerset City Council seats and no primary contests have developed. Incumbent Jerry Girdler has filed for reelection in Ward 5 and Brent Fleming and Charles (CL) Whitaker have filed in Ward 3.
Filings at the county clerk’s office slowed to a crawl during the Christmas break. Girdler; Michael Todd, a Republican candidate for magistrate in District 1; and Shane Lanham, candidate for mayor of Burnside, have filed since last week’s report.
Chuck Fourman, current mayor of Burnside, has not responded to requests from the Commonwealth Journal about whether he will seek reelection. Nonpartisan candidates in Burnside, Ferguson, Science Hill and Eubank have until August 10 to file.
Michael Todd’s filing upped the record number of magisterial candidates to 42, seven more than filed in 2006, the first year after magistrates doubled their salary package. Several others are expected to file before the January 26 deadline.
Currently there are 13 magisterial candidates for the District 1 seat on Pulaski Fiscal Court; 12 candidates in District 2; six candidates in District 3; seven candidates in District 4; and four candidates in District 5. As of 10 a.m. Tuesday, the following magisterial candidates had filed:
DISTRICT 1 –– Jerry McClendon, Tim H. Daulton, Steven Johnson , Jason Turpen, Larry Light, Jimmy Wilson, Chris Bingham, Roger B. McClendon, Keith Floyd, Stacy W. Halcomb, Leroy Owens, Michael Todd and Ricky Tucker. Jerry McClendon is a Democrat. All the rest are Republicans.
DISTRICT 2 –– Bruce Lee Cowan, Daniel Hall, Richard Gossett, Darrell Wayne Haste, Earl Owens, Bobby Wesley, Mike L. Wilson, Tim Hall, Larry Hines, Eugene Harness, Daron Young and Gary W. Patrick. Daniel Hall is a Democrat. The rest are Republicans.
DISTRICT 3 –– Claude J. Acton, Jimmy Wheeldon, Tommy Barnett, James Cothron, Roger D. Jones and Daniel E. Mills. Mills is an independent. The rest are Republicans.
DISTRICT 4 –– Glenn H. Maxey, Charlie Acton, Darwin K. Harris, Paul Moody, Donnie Whitis. Steve Vanhook and D.G. “Donnie” Baker Jr. All are Republicans.
DISTRICT 5 –– Shane Francis, Mike Strunk, David L. Rogers and William Lippert. All are Republicans.
Contests for constable have already formed in each of the five districts: Denny A. Britt, Harold Powell and Jason Michael Baugh in the 1st District. Clyde Molen, Shane D. Haste and Tony Bruce King in the 2nd District; William L. Link and Richard Gene Palmer in the 3rd District; Audie Brock, Robert E. Baker and Anthony W. (Tony) Deprato in the 4th District; and Larry Cook, Kenneth Ray Hembree and Michael (Wally) Wallace in the 5th District. All constabulary candidates except Powell are Republicans. Powell is a Democrat.
Incumbent Pulaski County Judge-executive Barty Bullock is seeking reelection to a second term. So far, Bullock’s opposition in the GOP primary includes former judge-executive Darrell BeShears and Jimmy Dalton, a retired state Department of Highways’ employee. Steve Kelley, currently a member of Somerset City Council, hasn’t filed nomination papers but is proclaiming his desire to be judge-executive with large signs around the county. Kenny Isaacs has filed as the lone Democratic candidate and Bert Minton, former superintendent of the Pulaski County School District, is expected to run as an independent.
Martin Hatfield has filed for county attorney; Todd Wood has filed for reelection as sheriff; Mike Harris, the incumbent, David Moss and W. Blaine Smith all have filed for jailer; Richard D. New has filed for reelection as coroner; T.W. Todd has filed for reelection as property valuation administrator; and Ralph Troxtell has filed for reelection as county clerk. All are Republicans.
The number of Democratic hopefuls to unseat 5th District Congressman Hal Rogers, R-Somerset, has grown to two. David Prince of Louisa has filed his nomination papers and Jim Holbert of London has not filed but is campaigning for the 5th District seat. Rogers, a Republican, has represented the 5th District in Washington since 1980 and has filed for another two-year term.
Darlene F. Price, a Democrat from Whitley City, is one of five candidates for the U.S. Senate seat to be vacated by retirement of Jim Bunning. James Buckmaster, a Democrat from Henderson, Gurley L. Martin, a Republican from Owensboro, Rand Paul, a Republican from Bowling Green, and Bill Johnson, a Republican from Georgetown, also have filed.
Terry Mills, a Democrat from Lebanon, has filed for the 24th House District seat vacated by Jimmy Higdon who won a special election for the 14th District Senate seat. Sara Beth Gregory, a Republican from Monticello, has filed for the 52nd House District, a part of which is in Pulaski County. The 52nd District seat will be vacated by Ken Upchurch, now running for judge-executive in Wayne County.
State representatives Danny Ford, Jeff Hoover and Tommy Turner, all representing parts of Pulaski County, have not filed nomination papers but have indicated they will seek reelection.
Daniel Venter, Somerset, is a candidate for a full term as justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court from the 3rd District. At this point, Venters, appointed to the high court, is unopposed.
Incumbent Jeffrey Scott Lawless has filed for reelection as district judge in the 28th Judicial District, 1st Division, and incumbent Katie Gregory Wood has filed for reelection as district judge, 28th Judicial District, 2nd Division.
Somerset — And the mayor makes three.
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