Despite a suggestion he might retire and sing his way into the sunset with the Happy Travelers quartet, Pulaski County Judge-Executive Barty Bullock says he will be a candidate for reelection next year.
“Yes, I will run again,” the two-term judge-executive said when asked by a reporter for the Commonwealth Journal if he wants a third term.
Bullock, a former merchant and former member of the Pulaski County Board of Education, admits freeing up more time for his gospel-singing ministry would be attractive. The Happy Travelers, of which Bullock is a member, is well-known throughout the county and area. The group frequently performs on WLJC, a religious television station in Beattyville.
All city hall and courthouse offices are up for grabs next year. At this early stage it appears the GOP contest for county judge-executive will be the hot spot during the May 20, 2014 Republican primary election.
Several candidates are likely to challenge Bullock for judge-executive. The county judge, as holder of the office is often called, is titular head of the party her or she represents.
One name being tossed around for judge-executive is George Flynn, the recently reelected veteran circuit court clerk. Flynn is not committed but says he is being asked to seek the office.
Insurance man Rick Girdler says he longs for a position as a public servant and admits kicking around the idea of running for judge-executive.
It’s almost a certainty Steve Kelley will try again. He finished a strong second in the 2010 judge-executive’s GOP primary, ahead of former Judge-executive Darrell BeShears.
At this point, a Democratic candidate for judge-executive has not surfaced.
“I haven’t heard a word ... it’s awfully quiet except what I read in the newspaper,” said Allen Price, chair of Pulaski County’s more than 11,000 Democrats.
Matter of fact, Price said he is not aware of any Democrat at this point considering any local office up for election or reelection in 2014.
Political pundits are saying there will be a “strong” candidate for mayor of Somerset to challenge incumbent Eddie Girdler but nobody is saying who the candidate is.
Girdler says there is no question he will seek a third term. His promises to eventually eliminate all property taxes in Somerset and keep utility rates low are good fodder for a tough campaign.
There is still a lot of time and many public offices to seek. The first day a candidate can file for the 2014 election cycle is November 6. Filing deadline for most candidates is January 28, 2014.