A former magistrate and candidate in the highly contested 2014 judge-executive’s race has once again thrown his hat in the ring hoping to reach the county’s highest seat.
Harry T. Clark, former magistrate of District 4, filed last month to officially place him on the Democrat ballot in the primary election on May 22.
Clark’s current opposition comes from within current Judge-Executive Walter Blevins’ office, political newcomer and deputy judge-executive Lincoln Caudill.
Blevins said he would not run for office in the upcoming election.
The two candidates will also face another political novice in Benjamin Heckman, also a Democrat.
Nearly every major role in local politics is up for grabs including county attorney, magistrates, county clerk, jailer, coroner, surveyor, PVA, constable, and sheriff.
The county clerk’s seat is perhaps seeing the most action with four candidates having already filed.
Incumbent clerk Kim Davis has yet to officially file, but her legal counsel announced weeks ago that her intentions were to again run for the seat as a Republican candidate.
Currently she will see at least four others go head-to-head against each other on the Democrat ticket as Elwood Caudill Jr., James “Jamey” Jessee, Nashia Fife, and David Ermold have all announced they are running.
Caudill ran against Davis in the Democrat primary in 2014, losing by just 23 votes.
Ermold is making national headlines as he and his husband were denied a marriage license by Davis in 2015.
Morehead Mayor Jim Tom Trent will seek re-election for his second term, however, political rookie Laura White-Brown also filed for the non-partisan mayoral race taking place in November.
All six City Council seats will also be up for vote. Currently, only Beth Ousley has made her filing official.
John Northcutt, county coroner, was the first to file on Nov. 8 when the county clerk’s office opened. He has sat in that position for nearly 25 years and is currently unopposed.
Another incumbent without current opposition filing within the first few hours was Sheriff Matt Sparks. He will be completing his first four-year term after winning in 2014.
All four magistrate seats will be on the ballot in their respective districts, including the filling of the vacant seat of Distrct 4 left by Stanley Messer.
Current candidates for the seat are Democrats Dale Davis and Robert Hamm.
Incumbent Ray White (Democrat), Magistrate of District 1, was second in line to file for office but was shortly followed by challenger Nicholas Pecco (Republican).
Charlie Winkleman, Magistrate of District 3, and Darrell Glover, Magistrate of District 2, have also filed without an opponent as of now.
Carmen Eldridge Swim registered with hopes of continuing to serve as Rowan County’s Property Valuation Administrator.
Current county attorney Cecil Watkins has filed without current opposition. He has led the county office since December 2009.
Jailer Wes Coldiron, a Republican, is currently unopposed as well.
Four constables have also filed to serve. They are:
• Douglas Ray Vaughan, District 1
• Doug Horton, District 2
• Harry “Randy” Steele, District 2
• Bob Christian, District 3
Rowan County District Judge William “Willie” Roberts and Commonwealth’s Attorney Ronnie Goldy have also filed without an opponent.
Rowan County school board members Scott Davison and Danny Mabry’s four-year staggered terms also end. Davison has officially filed and Mabry has announced he will seek re-election.
Congressman of the 5th District, Hal Rogers, will see his two-year term end along with Rep. Rocky Adkins. Both are expected to file to continue serving in their current capacities.
Those wishing to run for office in most races have until Jan. 30, 2018, to file.
Prospective candidates can declare their candidacy through the Rowan County Clerk’s Office or the Kentucky Office of the Secretary of State.
For more information, visit https://www.sos.ky.gov.
Brad Stacy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 784-4116.