Commonwealth Journal

August 5, 2013

Hansford set for political comeback?

By BILL MARDIS
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset —  A former veteran Pulaski county clerk says he hasn’t said “no” to what he describes as hundreds of requests to come back as county clerk. The office will be vacated when incumbent Ralph Troxtell retires at the end of next year.

  “I’ve been asked 140,000 times,” laughed Willard Hansford. “People are aggravating me to death to come back to the county clerk’s office.”

  “I haven’t said ‘no,’” he repeated. “I’m thinking about it. A lot of my good friends are asking me to consider running again for the clerk’s office.”

 Hansford said he can handle the job. “They wouldn’t have to send me to school,” he grinned, referring to his experience as county clerk. He served in the office for 25 years, from January 1978 until January 2002.

 Hansford said several have asked him to be a candidate for Pulaski County judge-executive “ ... but I am not interested in that office,” he emphasized. Incumbent Judge-executive Barty Bullock has said he will seek at third term and former Somerset city councilor Steve Kelley is already campaigning for the county’s top office. One or two others have indicated they may be a candidate for judge-executive.

  So far, Hansford is the third potential candidate for county clerk since Troxtell announced his retirement two weeks ago.

  Linda Burnett, a deputy county clerk for 28 years, said the day following Troxtell’s retirement announcement that she will seek the office next year. Tim Price, a deputy county clerk in the Somerset Mall office, also said he will try again. He finished second in a five-candidate race in 2006.

  Trudy Denham, a deputy county clerk, succeeded Hansford when he retired in 2002. She served one term and stepped down, announcing her support for Troxtell.

  Troxtell, a magistrate for 13 years from the former 7th District, won the race for county clerk in 2006. He was elected to a second term in 2010, defeating Lana Crawford.

  Hansford, Burnett and Price are all Republicans. Their candidacy would be subject to the May 20, 2014 GOP primary election.