You can bet the farm an incumbent officeholder has a pocketful of loyal voters; his or her employees, their families and friends as well as ties to his political party. In Pulaski County one has more chance to win the lottery than an elective office without support of the Republican party.
Incumbent magistrates prevailed four year ago. The four Republicans on fiscal court, despite howls about their seemingly high paychecks, won GOP nominations in May and reelection in November. The lone Democrat –– Kenny Isaacs –– vacated his seat on fiscal court to run unsuccessfully for county judge-executive, allowing newcomer Jason Turpen, a Republican, to outpoll 13 candidates in the primary and win the 1st District seat.
The 2010 May Republican primary ballot was crowded with magisterial candidates. There were 14 candidates in District 1; 14 candidates in District 2; five candidates in District 3; eight candidates in District 4; and five candidates in District 5. Another five Democrats and independents were not involved in primary elections and were on magisterial ballots in November.
As of 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, an hour before the clerk’s office closed for a two-day Christmas holiday, magisterial candidates who have filed are:
• 1st District: Incumbent Jason Turpen.
• 2nd District: Larry Hines, Kenneth Decker, Dennis L. Wilson and Barry W. Flatt. Incumbent Mike Wilson has not filed.
• 3rd District: Jimmy Wheeldon. Incumbent Tommy Barnett, has not filed.
• 4th District: Incumbent Glenn Maxey.
• 5th District: Incumbent Mike Strunk, Douglas Hughes and Thomas D. Stevens III (Bud).
All magisterial candidates who have filed Petitions of Elections are Republicans except Stevens, a Democrat.
Eddie Girdler has filed for reelection to a third term as mayor of Somerset, assuring a heated contest for the top spot at city hall during the 2014 local election cycle.
At this point, Girdler has one opponent, Alan Keck, vice president and general manager of Somerset Recycling Services Inc. However, Jim Rutherford, Ward 1 city councilman, has said he will run for mayor and there are hints others are interested in the mayor’s office.