by Bill Mardis
Eddie Girdler, as expected, 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, barely halfway through the 84-day filing window, 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.
City elections in Somerset are nonpartisan and the process is sometimes confusing to city voters. Candidates for mayor and city councilor must file by the January 28 deadline. If more than two candidates file for mayor, or more than two councilor candidates file in any of the city’s 12 wards, runoff elections will be held during May 20 primaries.
The two top vote-getting candidates for mayor would advance to the November 4 general election as well as the two top vote-getters in any ward with more than two candidates. Voting is citywide in both mayoral and ward runoff elections.
As of Thursday morning, only two candidates had filed for seats on Somerset City Council. Joseph Wiles, son of former Mayor JP Wiles, filed in Ward 4 and incumbent Jim Mitchell filed in Ward 9.
Other candidates who have filed for local offices during the past week include Gary Ed Cromer, owner of Cromer Builders Inc. who becomes the fourth candidate for Pulaski County jailer. The others, so far, are Michael Hall, Anthony McCollum and Rodney Dick. All candidates for jailer are Republicans. Incumbent Mike Harris said he will seek another term but as of early Thursday he had not filed his Petition of Election.
Other recent filers are Dennis L. Wilson and Barry W. Flatt, both for the 2nd District magisterial seat on Pulaski Fiscal Court. Already candidates for the 2nd District seat are Larry Hines and Kenneth Decker. Incumbent Mike Wilson had not filed as of Thursday morning.
In the 5th Magisterial District, Douglas Hughes has filed for a seat on Pulaski Fiscal Court. Candidates who previously filed for that position are incumbent Mike Strunk and Thomas D. Stevens III (Bud). Stevens is a Democrat. Hughes and Strunk are Republicans.
Other magisterial candidates are:
• 1st District: Incumbent Jason Turpen.
• 3rd District: Jimmy Wheeldon, a Republican. Incumbent Tommy Barnett, a Republican, had not filed.
• 4th District: Incumbent Glenn Maxey, a Republican.
Candidates for other local offices who have filed Petitions of Election are:
• Pulaski County judge-executive: Incumbent Barty Bullock and Steve Kelley. Both are Republicans.
• Pulaski County Clerk: Tim Price, Linda Burnett, Josh Anderson and Jim Reams. All Republicans who are seeking the office of retiring Ralph Troxtell.
• Pulaski County attorney: Incumbent Martin Hatfield.
• Pulaski County sheriff: Incumbent Todd Wodd and Greg W. Speck.
• Pulaski County coroner: Clyde Strunk, Shane D. Haste, Scott Miller and incumbent Charles E. “Chuck” Godbey.
• Pulaski County surveyor: Anthony Glenn Thompson.
Constabulary candidates who have filed since November 6 include:
• 1st District: Denny Allen Britt and Danny Weddle, both Republicans. James Foster, incumbent constable, has not filed.
• 2nd District: Clyde Molen, Carl David Jones, James Huesman, Christopher Roberts and Roy Chumbley, all Republicans. Shane D. Haste, incumbent constable in the 2nd District, has filed for coroner.
• 3rd District: Travis Gillilan and Brad Wilson, both Republicans. Richard Gene Palmer, incumbent constable, has not filed.
• 4th District: James Mayfield, a Republican. Richard L. New is currently serving as constable but has not filed for reelection.
• 5th District: Incumbent Michael “Wally” Wallace and Kenneth Hembree, both Republicans.
Candidates for offices in multi-county districts who have filed at the secretary of state’s office in Frankfort are:
• David A. Tapp, circuit judge, 28th Judicial Circuit, 1st Division.
• Jeffrey T. Burdette, chief regional circuit judge, 28th Judicial Circuit, 2nd Division.
• Marcus Vanover, Family Court judge, 3rd Division, 28th Judicial Circuit.
• Jeffrey Scott Lawless, district judge, 1st Division, 28th Judicial Circuit.
• Katie Gregory Wood, district judge, 2nd Division, 28th Judicial Circuit.
Tapp, Burdette, Lawless and Wood are incumbents. Vanover was recently appointed Family Court judge, succeeding retiring Walter Maguire.
• Incumbent Court of Appeals Judge Michael O. Caperton, 3rd Appellate District, 1st Division, and James H. Lambert, 3rd Appellate District, 2nd Division.
• Matt Bevin, Louisville, and Gurley L. Martin, Owensboro, both Republicans, and Tom Recktenwald, Louisville, a Democrat, all for U.S. Senator.
• David Meade, 80th House District, a part of which extends into Pulaski County. Meade succeeded retiring Danny Ford.
Incumbents Ken Upchurch in the 52nd District, Jeff Hoover in the 83rd District and Tommy Turner in the 85th District as of Thursday morning had not filed for reelection. The 24th House District, formerly extending into five northern Pulaski County precincts, because of realignment is no longer a part of Pulaski County.
Filing deadline for most local offices is January 28. Independents, small cities and school board candidates have until August 12 to file.