by Bill Mardis
A political newcomer with a familiar name was the biggest surprise among a flurry of filings Wednesday, the first day candidates in the 2014 election cycle could file Petitions of Elections.
Joseph Wiles, 801 North Main Street, an information technology manager, filed for Somerset City Council in Ward 4. He is the son of former Somerset Mayor JP Wiles. The elder Wiles served two terms in the mayor’s office before being unseated in 2006 by incumbent Mayor Eddie Girdler. Jimmy Eastham currently represents Ward 4 on Somerset City Council.
The very first candidate to file Wednesday morning was Tim Price, a deputy in County Clerk Ralph Troxtell’s office. Price wants to succeed Troxtell as county clerk when he (Troxtell) retires at the end of next year.
Linda Burnett, also a deputy clerk, was the second person to file Wednesday morning and she is the second candidate for county clerk. Josh Anderson, the former major league baseball player, also filed for county clerk.
Alan Keck, general manager of Somerset Recycling, was there early Wednesday morning with an announced intent to be the first candidate to file. The two deputy county clerks who filed had an obvious advantage and Keck ended up being the third candidate to file. He will try to unseat incumbent Eddie Girdler who says he will seek reelection.
Other candidates who filed Petitions of Election on the first day of filing are:
• Martin Hatfield for reelection as county attorney.
• Greg W. Speck, retired Kentucky State Police captain and former commander of KSP Post 15 at Columbia, filed for sheriff. He will try to unseat incumbent Todd Wood who said he will seek reelection.
• Clyde Strunk and Shane D. Haste both filed for coroner. Charles “Chuck” E. Godbey, appointed to fill the unexpired term of Richard New, is the current coroner.
• Incumbent Jason Turpin filed for reelection as 1st District magistrate. Denny Allen Britt filed for 1st District constable.
• Larry Hines filed for 2nd District magistrate. Clyde Molen filed for 2nd District constable.
• Incumbent Glenn Maxey filed for 4th District magistrate.
• Michael “Wally” Wallace filed for 5th District constable.
All candidates who filed for county offices on the first day are Republicans. City offices are non-partisan.
Filing deadline for Democrats and Republicans is January 28. Independents, small cities and school board candidates have until August 12 to file.