Two months remain to file for local offices during the 2014 election cycle and courthouse officials are scratching their heads at the slow pace of filings compared to four years ago.
For example, at midafter-noon Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, only seven candidates, including three incumbents, had filed for magistrate. Four years ago, as County Clerk Ralph Troxtell put it, magisterial candidates were “lined up” to file. A total of 51 candidates filed for the five seats on Pulaski Fiscal court during the 2010 election cycle.
One of the more significant filers since last week’s report is incumbent Sheriff Todd Wood, seeking a fourth term.
Wood, a Pulaski County High School basketball star and former Somerset city policemen, was elected sheriff following the assassination of Sheriff Sam Catron on April 13, 2002 at a Shopville picnic and political rally. Retired State Police Detective Jim McWhorter was appointed interim sheriff immediately following Catron’s death and he (McWhorter) served until Wood’s election.
Greg W. Speck, a retired state police captain and former commander of Kentucky State Police Post 15, headquartered at Columbia, has filed as a candidate for sheriff. Both Wood and Speck are Republicans.
Magisterial candidates who had filed as of midafternoon Wednesday:
1st District: Incumbent Jason Turpen, a Republican.
2nd District: Larry Hines and Kenneth Decker, both Republicans. Incumbent Mike Wilson, a Republican, had not filed as of Wednesday afternoon.
3rd District: Jimmy Wheeldon, a Republican. Incumbent Tommy Barnett, a Republican, had not filed as of Wednesday afternoon.
4th District: Incumbent Glenn Maxey, a Republican.
5th District: Incumbent Mike Strunk, a Republican, and Thomas D. Stevens III (Bud), a Democrat.
Troxtell said there is an early interest in the office of constable. Ten constabulary candidates have filed for election or reelection in the five magisterial districts. Constables do not get a salary; they are paid for delivering court papers and performing other law-enforcement duties:
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 and Christopher Roberts, all Republicans. Shane D. Haste, incumbent constable, 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,, has filed for reelection.
“It’s early,” Troxtell commented. “Some candidates may be waiting until after the first of the year to skip one financial report they would be required to file.”
There is considerable interest in Troxtell’s office. The county clerk announced earlier this year he will retire at the close of his second term at the end of December next year.
The latest to file for Troxtell’s office is an agent with Shelter Insurance. Jim Reams, 142 Woodland Drive, Somerset, joins Tim Price, Linda Burnett and Josh Anderson as candidates to succeed Troxtell.
Price and Burnett both are deputy county clerks in Troxtell’s office. Anderson is a local businessman and former Major League Baseball player. Reams is a member and past president of Somerset Kiwanis Club. All candidates so far are Republicans.
Incumbent Pulaski County Judge-executive Barty Bullock has filed for reelection to a third term. Steve Kelley, who finished a close second in the 2010 GOP primary race for judge-executive, has filed for another try at the county judge’s office. Kelley has been shaking hands for some time. Both Bullock and Kelley are Republicans.
Other early filers include:
• Martin Hatfield has filed for reelection as county attorney. He is a Republican.
• Michael Hall and Anthony McCollum, both Republicans, have filed for jailer. Incumbent Mike Harris, also a Republican, had not filed as of Wednesday afternoon.
• Clyde Strunk and Shane D. Haste have filed for coroner. Both are Republicans. Charles E. Godbey is currently serving the unexpired term of Richard D. New.
• Anthony Glenn Thompson, a Republican, has filed for reelection as county surveyor.
• Alan Keck has filed for mayor of Somerset. Incumbent Mayor Eddie Girdler said he will seek reelection but had not filed as of Wednesday afternoon. Municipal candidates are nonpartisan.
• Joseph Wiles has filed for the 4th Ward seat on Somerset City Council.
• Incumbent Jim Mitchell has filed for election to the Ward 9 seat on Somerset City Council.
Multi-county candidates who have filed at the secretary of state’s office in Frankfort as of Wednesday afternoon:
• 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.
• Katie Gregory Wood, district judge, 2nd Division, 28th Judicial Circuit.
Tapp, Burdette 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.
• Matt Bevin, Louisville, and Gurley L. Martin, Owensboro, for U.S. Senator. Both are Republicans.
• David Meade, 80th House District, a part of which extends into Pulaski County. He succeeded retiring Danny Ford.
Filing deadline for most local offices is January 28. Independents, small cities’ candidates and school board candidates have until August 12 to file.