by Bill Mardis
A well-known Nancy farmer and veteran employee of the Pulaski County Road Department has confirmed rumors that he is “seriously considering” a race for Pulaski County jailer next year.
If he decides to run, Rodney Dick, a local and state agricultural activist, would face incumbent Jailer Mike Harris in the Republican primary election May 20, 2014. Harris has said he will seek another term.
Employed by Pulaski Fiscal Court, Dick has worked for the Pulaski County Road Department for 25 years. He owns a 72-acre farm in the Nancy community and leases another 84 acres where he raises feeder cattle and has a 35-head brood cow operation.
Dick is chair of the Pulaski County Soil Conservation District and active in all things agriculture. He served seven years on the Kentucky Agricultural Development Board and is a former Pulaski County Farm Bureau board member. He is a member of Central Kentucky Young Farmers and Pulaski County Cattlemen’s Association.
Harris has deep roots in Pulaski County politics. He is the grandson of the late Frank Harris, an iconic and outspoken member of Pulaski Fiscal Court during the late 1950s and 1960s. Recently, Mike Harris and his wife, Pam, began refurbishing the historic Triangle Restaurant in Nancy and plan in October to reopen what has been dubbed the Nancy White House and political heartbeat of western Pulaski County.
This may have been an election-free year in Kentucky, but the political winds never stop blowing in Pulaski County. And, as the filing period for next year’s local elections approaches, candidates are coming out of the woodwork.
The contest for mayor of Somerset looks like it will be hotter than a depot stove. Mayor Eddie Girdler “definitely” will seek another term. Alan Keck, president and general manager of Somerset Recycling Services Inc., could be the “strong” candidate some anti-Girdler folks say could be the top man at city hall. Keck hasn’t said for sure he will run.
That’s not all. Jim Rutherford, veteran member of Somerset City Council, says he is considering the race for mayor, and the rumor mill has it that two or three other city councilors are looking at the mayor’s office.
One of the more interesting races next year will be for county clerk. Ralph Troxtell has announced his retirement at the end of next year and two deputy clerk’s in his office – Linda Burnett and Tim Price – immediately tossed their hats in the ring.
It couldn’t be that easy, not in Pulaski County. The real shocker came when Willard Hansford, county clerk for 25 years, from January 1978 until January 2002, said he is considering coming out of retirement to seek another term as county clerk.
“People are aggravating me to death to run,” Hansford said.
County Judge-executive Barty Bullock will seek a third term. Steve Kelley, who ran a close second four years ago, is already campaigning for another try. Charles Alan Carrender, an independent candidate for judge-executive in 2012, says he will run as a Democrat if no formidable Democrat files for judge-executive. If a Democrat files, Carrender says he will run again as an independent.
Next year’s ballot will be crammed with candidates. There is a race for U.S. Senate – surely you’ve heard that Mitch is running again – Hal Rogers will seek a 28th term in the U.S. Congress; and locally, small city mayors, councilors and commissioners will be up for election or re-election, as well as district judges and school board members.