Commonwealth Journal

Local News

January 23, 2014

Casada will run for county judge

Somerset — A well-known chiropractor and businessman in Pulaski County has officially announced as a Democratic candidate for judge-executive, assuring a contest for the county’s top elective office in the November 4 general election.

Rodney Casada proclaimed his candidacy for county judge-executive during an 11 a.m. kickoff  Wednesday at Ashley Home Furniture Store, a Somerset business in which he is a partner. Casada was chair of the Pulaski County Democratic Party for 15 years and currently is an advisor to the local Democratic Party Executive Committee.

If Casada were to win the judge-executive’s office he would be the third Democrat in heavily Republican Pulaski County to serve as county judge since the Civil War.

W.B. Pettus, a Democrat, was elected county judge shortly after the Civil War, and more recently, the late John W. Garner, a Democrat who said he ran at the wishes of Republicans, served three terms as county judge between 1962 and 1974. At the end of his third term Garner vacated the office to run unsuccessfully for state representative against the late Leonard Hislope, a Republican.

Making a political comeback, Garner, in 1982, upset Republican Jacob V. Garner (no kin) to win a fourth term as county judge-executive. The state court system was revamped prior to his election in 1982 creating district courts and taking judicial powers from county judges. From that point, the county’s top elective office has been judge-executive.

If no other Democratic candidate files for judge-executive, Casada would be the party’s nominee and skip the May 20 Democratic primary. He would face the Republican nominee in the general election this fall. At this point that would be either incumbent Barty Bullock or Steve Kelley, a former Somerset city councilor who ran a close second in the 2010 judge-executive’s race.

Filing petitions of elections has picked up speed during the past week as the deadline of 4 p.m. January 28 is less than a week away. Filing highlights during the past week include:

Congressman Hal Rogers, R-Somerset, has filed for his 18th term representing the 5th Congressional District; Whitley City attorney Jessica A. Burke filed for state representative in the 52nd House District, now represented by Ken Upchurch who has filed for reelection; incumbent Pulaski County Jailer Mike Harris has filed for reelection, facing seven GOP opponents including Rodney Baker, the most recent to file; and M. Allan Coomer, 132 Woodland Drive, has filed for the Ward 1 seat on Somerset City Council to be vacated by Jim Rutherford who is running for Somerset mayor.

Candidates involved in the 2014 local election cycle include:

• Pulaski County judge-executive: Steve Kelley, Barty Bullock, both Republicans, and Rodney Casada, a Democrat.

• Pulaski County clerk: Tim Price, Linda Burnett, Josh Anderson and Jim Reams, all Republicans.

• Pulaski County jailer: Michael Hall, Anthony McCollum, Rodney Dick, Gary Ed Cromer, Rodney Stevens, David Moss, Mike Harris and Rodney Baker, all Republicans.

• Pulaski County attorney: Martin Hatfield, a Republican.

• Pulaski County sheriff: Greg W. Speck and Todd Wood, both Republicans.

• Pulaski County coroner: Clyde Strunk, Shane D. Haste, Scott Miller and Charles E. “Chuck” Godbey, all Republicans.

• Pulaski County property valuation administrator: T.W. Todd, a Republican.

• Pulaski County surveyor: Anthony Glenn Thompson, a Republican.

• 1st District magistrate: Jason Turpen, a Republican.

• 1st District constable: Denny Allen Britt and Danny Weddle, both Republicans.

• 2nd District magistrate: Larry Hines, Kennith Decker, Dennis L. Wilson, Barry W. Flatt, Mike L. Wilson and James (Jamie) Warren, all Republicans.

• 2nd District constable: Clyde Molen, Carl David Jones, James Huesman, Christopher Roberts, Roy Chumbley and Jamie Meece, all Republicans.

• 3rd District magistrate: Jimmy Wheeldon and Tommy Barnett, both Republicans.

• 3rd District constable: Travis Gillilan and Brad Wilson, both Republicans.

• 4th District magistrate: Glenn Maxey and Billy Bob Hardy, both Republicans.

• 4th District constable: James Mayfield, G.D. Doug Baker, James Glover, Ollie Phelps and Richard L. New, all Republicans.

• 5th District magistrate: Thomas D. Stevens III (Bud), a Democrat, and Mike Strunk, Douglas Hughes, Penny Jo Johnson and Jack Anderson, all Republicans.

• 5th District constable: Michael “Wally” Wallace and Kenneth Hembree, both Republicans.

• Somerset mayor (nonpartisan): Alan Keck, Eddie Girdler and Jim Rutherford.

• Somerset City Council (nonpartisan):

Ward 1 –– M. Allan Coomer; Ward 2 –– Linda Stringer; Ward 3 –– Jerry Wheeldon; Ward 4 –– Joseph Wiles, Betty Barnes Cook, Justin Mikel Smith and James C. (Jimmy) Eastham; Ward 5 –– Jerry Girdler; Ward 6 –– Charles Mike New; Ward 7 –– Donna Hunley; Ward 8 –– John Ricky Minton; Ward 9 –– Jim Mitchell; Ward 10 –– James P. Bourne and Tim Rutherford; Ward 11 –– Jerry Burnett; and Ward 12 –– No filing as of Wednesday morning. Tom Eastham is the incumbent.

Statewide and multi-county candidates who have filed at the Kentucky Secretary of State’s office are:

  • For U.S. Senator –– Incumbent Mitch McConnell, Louisville, Matt Bevin, Louisville, and Gurley L. Martin, Owensboro, all Republicans; and Alison Lundergan Grimes, Lexington, Tom Recktenwald, Louisville, Gregory Brent Leichty, Louisville, and Burrel Charles Farnsley, Louisville, all Democrats.

  • For U.S. Representative, 5th Congressional District –– Billy Ray Wilson, London, a Democrat, and Incumbent Republican Hal Rogers, Somerset.

 • For state representative, 52nd District –– Incumbent Ken Upchurch, Monticello, and Jessica A. Burke, Stearns.

 • For state representative, 80th District –– Incumbent David Meade, Stanford.

 • For state representative, 83rd District –– Kentucky House Republican floor leader Jeff Hoover, Jamestown.

 • For state representative, 85th District ––  Incumbent Tommy Turner, Somerset.

The 24th House District, formerly extending into five northern Pulaski County precincts, because of realignment is no longer a part of Pulaski County. Now divided among four House districts, Pulaski County is represented in Frankfort by Upchurch, Hoover, Meade and Turner.

Chris Girdler, elected last year as state senator from the 15th Senatorial District, is not up for reelection next year. He succeeded the retiring Vernie McGaha.

Judicial candidates who have filed with the Secretary of State are:

  • For circuit judge, 28th Judicial Circuit, 1st Division ––David A. Tapp.

  • For circuit judge, 28th Judicial Circuit, 2nd Division –– Jeffrey T. Burdette.

  • For Family Court judge, 28th Judicial Circuit, 3rd Division –– Marcus Vanover.

  • For district judge, 28th Judicial Circuit, 1st Division –– Jeffrey Scott Lawless.

  • For district judge, 28th Judicial Circuit, 2nd Division –– Katie Gregory Wood.

  Tapp, Burdette, Lawless and Wood are incumbents. Vanover was recently appointed Family Court judge, succeeding retiring Walter Maguire.

  • For court of appeals judge, 3rd Appellate District –– Incumbent Michael O. Caperton, 1st Division, and James H. Lambert, 2nd Division.

 Filing deadline for most local offices is January 28. Independents, small cities and school board candidates have until August 12 to file. The primary election is May 20 and the general election is November 4.


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