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Voter Guide: Candidate platforms in their own words

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Editor’s Note: Candidates for contested government offices were invited to submit up to 500 words to discuss their campaigns. Here are their platforms in their own words, in order as they appear on the ballot by office.


I am Don Hall, candidate for Rowan County Judge-Executive.

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Let me tell you a little about myself. I have been a small business owner in Rowan County since 1975.

Chelma and I have been married for 44 years. Our greatest accomplishment is raising our four sons here in Rowan County: Donnie, Joey, Taylor and Seth.

I served as Rowan County Jailer for 17 years. I also served 15 years, being elected by my peers throughout the state, as a board member for the Kentucky Jailers Association.

My experience, work ethic, and integrity make me ready to serve as Judge-Executive.

My message is simple. I will serve with the same fiscal responsibility as when I was jailer.

I want to work with the city of Morehead and MSU leaders to devise a plan to improve the livability for the citizens of Rowan County.

I hope to partner with the city of Morehead to enhance and improve recreation for Rowan County and Morehead citizens.

I want to expand and improve the infrastructure to attract new business to Rowan County. I will support our first responders, EMS, ambulance, police, and fire departments.

Let me serve you to achieve my goals of making Rowan County a better place to live and raise your family. I humbly ask for your vote Nov. 6.

Thank you.

I’m Harry Clark and as we enter the final days of our Judge-Executive race, I want to reiterate the themes that I talked to many of you about on your door step, or during community events.

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Health and Safety


Leadership and Management



I believe the leadership and management skills I possess through years of ever increasing military and private sector management experience and as a small business owner will enable me to efficiently lead Rowan County’s job growth and prosperity. I want our community to expand our job base with good paying jobs. We can do that with insuring our infrastructure is reliable and that our community is a safe place for us to work, play and raise our family. I want to insure that we have the resources to protect the safety of all citizens and that our recreational opportunities meet the demands of all our citizens.

I will ensure our decision making processes are transparent. I want our Fiscal Court meetings to be videoed and archived so that any interested person can see firsthand how policy and operational decisions evolve, but most importantly how their tax dollars are used. I will also post the agenda for Fiscal Court meetings in advance of the meeting. I want to encourage citizen participation in our government process, key word our.

As your next County Judge-Executive I will focus on identifying services we can improve or expand and do so efficiently. I want us to cooperate with other government agencies, including the City of Morehead, to merge services where practical and efficient. One example is the permits required by our building industry contractors. Some of these could be made available from a newly updated County Government web site and Facebook page. This same site can be used for updates on many important announcements such as road conditions and closures just to name a few. More importantly, I will make sure that improvements are in fact carried out, it takes hands on, day to day, work and commitment for improvement and I possess the skills and energy to do just that.

The county’s tax dollars are your dollars. They will be efficiently managed and directed toward projects and initiatives deemed most important. I believe the Fiscal Court, working with the citizens and the business community can identify efficiencies that will enable us to redirect our tax dollars in ways that improve all our living conditions and that results in greater prosperity to our community.

All efforts will be directed toward insuring that Rowan County becomes a community that prospective businesses and industry want to be. We have the assets and with my leadership Rowan County will prosper and grow.

On Tuesday you have an opportunity to be apart of the future decisions made on behalf of this county, I urge you to get up, get out and go vote. I humbly ask you to cast your vote for our future Vote Harry Clark Nov. 6.

Magistrate – District 1

Nick Pecco

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Representing the people of District One and being the much-needed voice of the people on Fiscal Court is my #1 Priority. I’m working for You, the people! District One deserves a leader that represents the VOICE of the people, not self-interests. YOU deserve to know what’s going on in local government. 

Fiscal responsibility, infrastructure needs met in a timely manner- not just re-election years, economic and recreation development, and respect to all community members are a necessity. Open communication is key to making your voice heard. I will establish District One meetings open to all community members to voice concerns before Fiscal Court meetings.

I’m a proud lifelong Rowan County community member and I will work daily for You, the people of Rowan County. The people deserve a VOICE. That’s why I’m running for Magistrate District One. I ask for your support and vote on Nov. 6.

Hello, my name is Ray White and I am your current magistrate for District 1 in Rowan County. I have proudly served as your Magistrate for the last 3 terms of elected office.

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Being a lifelong resident of Rowan County I know what it takes to work for the people of this county and district. I am the CEO of Harold White Lumber, where I employee over 100 citizens of this community.

I am a graduate of MSU, SAE Alumni, a Past President of the Chamber of Commerce, past board member of Economic Development, and current E-911 board Chairman. I have served for 31 years on the Morehead Fire Department as a firefighter, captain, instructor, EMT and paramedic.

When I ran for election of Magistrate 12 years ago I ran on the promise of an open-door policy. I have proudly maintained that accessibility by being available all hours of everyday to assist my constituents. I am a strong advocate for all county agencies and I have no underlying motives.

As your current magistrate I make it a priority to promote the hospital, university, school system, recreation, emergency services, tourism, aging population and local industry. I act with transparency and willingness.

Our county has made great strides over the last 12 years and we continue to do so every day. 

While in office my efforts have included the building and completion of the new county detention center, judicial center, animal shelter, county courthouse, new county garage, new road equipment, better roads, new ambulances, Harm Reduction, County Wide Code Red Alerts, TIFF approval, and new 911 system. Collectively fiscal court has increased appropriations for our county fire departments, EMS, Coroner operations, Sheriff Dept., new fire hydrants in district 1 and county to reduce insurance costs.

I have personally been very involved in efforts to reduce the Opioid epidemic and our 1St responders are now adequately equipped with Narcan to improve the survival rates of overdoses. My leadership roles in Frankfort have allowed district 1 to receive additional funding towards road improvement.

I coordinated an amicable meeting with legislatures who represent our county in Frankfort to achieve reimbursement of $980,000 towards the detention center owed to the county.  I take my duties as county magistrate seriously and respectfully. I work with the people and for the people of our district and our county as a whole. I have always held the duties of this position to the highest degree.

It has been my honor to serve as your Magistrate for the last 12 years and I hope to serve another term starting in 2019. I humbly ask for your vote to continue as your Magistrate for District 1 in Rowan County on Nov. 6.

Magistrate – District 2

Jerry Flannery - did not participate

My name is Darrell Glover and I am running for re-election as your Magistrate in District 2.

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I have lived in Rowan County my entire life. I have run a successful business in this county (Glover's Glass & Lock) since 1991. I have been an active member of Farmers Volunteer Fire Department for 27 years and served as Chief of the Department for the past 23 years. I was active in the building process of Station One located in downtown Farmers and helped oversee the building of Station Two (MMRC) on KY 801. Having two excellent fire stations and equipment has been instrumental in securing much needed funding for our volunteer department, which in turn provides vital public safety for our community.

As Magistrate of District Two, I will continue to make the best decisions for the people in my District as well as all citizens of Rowan County and continue to serve, with dignity and honesty, the people I am elected to represent. Being consistent in decisions that I make for YOU is highly important to me. I will continue to work closely with the Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Council as well as our State Representatives to ensure continued positive growth which includes securing funding for our District.

I will still be available day and night to take your calls and listens to your concerns.

You may reach me at 780-7193 or (606) 776-0662.

The only PROMISE I make to you, the citizens of District Two, is that I will be Consistent and Honest in my decision-making and Work Diligently for continued growth in our community.

I humbly ask that you vote and re-elect me as your Magistrate in District 2 on Nov. 6.

Magistrate – District 3

Mike Crouch – did not participate

Hello, my name is Charlie Winkleman and I am seeking re-election for Magistrate, District 3, which includes Hogtown, Clearfield, Dry Creek, City Hall & West Morehead Precincts.

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I want to clarify some false and misleading ads that are circulating in our community. I voted NO for a pay increase in Magistrate salaries, and I have the documentation to back it up.

I believe my work experiences, along with good moral values have provided me with management, proven leadership and social skills needed to make the best decisions that will move Rowan County forward and bring job growth to our community.

I take this job very seriously and I am committed 24/7 to the citizens of District 3 and Rowan County.

Accomplishments made during this term:

Worked with architects and construction managers to oversee the completion and grand opening of the new Rowan County Detention Center

Keeping the old Courthouse Square

Gave an increase to ALL Volunteer Fire Departments

Increased Funding to the Sheriff’s Department to help combat the drug epidemic

Set aside $250,000.00 to purchase land for a new ambulance center

Paid off the 2nd mortgage on the Courthouse

Purchased and paid in full (Equipment for the Road Department)



-3 trucks


-slope mower


-hot box for blacktop

Purchased and paid in full

-3 new ambulances

-new truck for Solid Waste Coordinator

-SUV for Ambulance Director

-SUV for Emergency Management Coordinator

Increased funding for gravel and blacktop

Funding for recreation

My primary goal is to maintain the county roads and bridges to the best of my ability with what revenue is available to ensure the safety for our school buses, emergency vehicles and all other vehicles that travel the county roads of Rowan County.

When re-elected, I will continue to work hard for District 3 and the future of Rowan County. I will continue to strive to make sound financial decisions and be a good steward of your tax dollars. I will continue to work with the Fiscal Court Members for the betterment of our community, in order to lead our county into the future and I will represent each citizen with respect, honesty and integrity that you deserve.

It is a privilege and honor to serve the citizens of Rowan County.

I respectfully ask for your vote and support on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Magistrate – District 4

I’m Jerome “Jerry” Bowen. I’m a lifelong resident of Rowan County. I went to Haldeman Grade school and I’m a graduate of Rowan County High School. I graduated Rowan State Vocational- Technical College.

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My family has lived and worked in Rowan County for 104 years. I am the grandson of Homer and Irene Bowen, son of Jerome K. Bowen/ Carol Liles. Married Ashley Markwell Bowen, and the proud father of Noah Bowen.

My brother Brian Scott Bowen passed away in 2002 in a 4-wheeler accident.

I have been a public servant for 21 years as a founding member of the Hayes Crossing-Haldeman Fire Department, where I served various positions such as Board member, Asst. Chief and chief

Retired from Rowan County EMS after 20 years of service.

• I am a Certified Kentucky Firefighter, Fire Instructor, Emergency Medical Technician and EMT Evaluator.

I have other interests outside the Fire/EMS service and here are just a few of those:

• Worked polling places as an Election Officer for the past 12 years.

• Member of the Morehead Optimist Club.

• Freemason and Member of Phelps 482 and Soldier 708

• Member of Morehead York Rite and Highland York Rite College

• Shriner at El Hasa Shrine Temple and Morehead Shrine Club.

• Board Member at the Haldeman School Community Center

• Kentucky Colonel.

• Worked with Habitat for humanity on several homes including the hammering I the hill project.

• NRA Member.

• Former member of the Morehead/Daniel Boone Jaycees.

• Past Member of Rowan County Rescue Squad.

• My family attend Globe Christian Church.

In preparation for the job: I have attended numerous fiscal court meetings this year educating myself on county government, I have also composed 15 pages of notes from my door to door campaigning of issues that need addressed when I take office, I have attended numerous other city and county meetings. When I take office, I will be educated and prepared for the job. I have a commitment to make sure Rowan County Continues on a positive growth pattern that represents the citizens of District 4.

My goals are to

Prioritize critical infrastructure

Take a pre-active approach on the drug epidemic.

Secure funding for new emergency services building.

Enhance recreation in Rowan county.

Work closer with City government

Assure Rowan County emergency responders, EMS, Fire and Police have what they need to do their jobs safely.

I will be your full-time magistrate not just for one meeting a month.

I have the time, energy and work ethic to make you proud you placed me in office.

And by the way I’m not a politician, I just want to be your magistrate.

Hello, my name is Rob Hamm and I am the Democratic candidate for Magistrate of District 4. I am the son of Pete and Mary Hamm of Clearfield, and the husband of Linda Parker Hamm. We have a daughter, Kristen Hamm, who is currently a senior at Morehead State University.

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I humbly ask for your vote on Nov. 6.

I strongly believe that the position of Magistrate is of great importance to our local government, and is often overlooked. The job of magistrate is more than just about road repair and snow removal its about being a voice for the taxpayer on the fiscal court and managing the fiscal health of our county. If elect as district 4 magistrate, I will use my voice to support the safety and infrastructure concerns of the taxpayers of District 4.

I am strongly invested in this wonderful community. I believe that without proper roads, we as a community cannot grow larger than we currently are. Therefore, If elected, I will propose and work closely with the other members of our Fiscal Court and Judge-Executive to create a 4-year countywide road plan. I strongly support a prioritized and published road plan, and will dedicate my time to ensure that the taxpayers in District 4 are aware of road repairs in timely manner.

As for my experience and background, I graduated from Rowan County High School in 1981 and Morehead State University in 1985 with a Bachelor of Science. I have 36 years of experience in Finance, Management and Leadership. I have worked in the construction industry starting at the entry-level labor and worked my way up to the senior project manager and estimator as a licensed Plumber and HVAC mechanic. I rose through the ranks in the Army National Guard to the position of Lieutenant Colonel and led over 400 men as Combat Engineer Battalion Commander. I’m a decorated combat veteran of over 27 years. I’ve been involved in many civic organizations and served as President of the Rowan County Veterans organization and the Morehead Optimist Club. During my time in the military, I completed the U.S Army Engineer Basic and Advanced courses, which had studies in road and airfield construction and repair. These experiences will aid me in better serving this community.

Currently, I am a full Professor at the Maysville Community and Technical College, were I teach Heating Air Condition, refrigeration and electricity.

I intend to be the hardest working Magistrate for you and our community. I served you in Afghanistan, and I wish to serve you again here at home as your Magistrate of District 4 and Rowan County. Thank You

County Clerk

Kim Davis

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It has been my honor and privilege to serve you, Rowan County, over the past 30 years. I could have never imagined the events of the last 4 years and how they would affect my life, personally and professionally. I am proud to be your County Clerk and am excited for the next 4 years in office.

Since taking office in 2015, I am pleased to let you know, the office has received clean audits for 2015 and 2016 and our 2017 audit is being finalized. As a steward of over 5.5 million dollars yearly, of your tax dollars, I have always distributed the funds collected in a prompt and timely manner. The office also received a clean report for the 2018 Primary Election Audit conducted by the Office of Attorney General.

The County Clerk’s office is a fee office, which receives no monies from any other source other than what is generated from the office itself, so fiscal responsibility, knowledge and experience is a must. Every January, the Clerk’s office starts with zero monies, with no expected help from any other office if you cannot make payroll, daily, weekly or monthly obligations.

As an arm of the State, the County Clerk’s office is provided the most up to date technology, used uniformly across the state by all Clerk’s offices. Every County Clerk’s office is supplied with computer equipment, printers and forms to carry out the functions of the office as directed by the Kentucky Revised Statutes. The most recent innovation to the County Clerk’s office is KAVIS. Implemented statewide, this customer based and driven system allows motor vehicle transactions to be directly dropped into a shopping cart, applied to an automatic accounting system and essentially speeds up the time it takes for each transaction, all while removing the human error factor. This ensures unification in every County Clerk’s working and reporting of all transactions that take place in our offices.

For the convenience of our customers, the office is open until 6pm every Monday and Friday, working a skeleton crew and until 4pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I have tried Saturday hours, but there is no support from the Transportation Cabinet and the PVA and Sheriff’s offices were closed on Saturdays also, making it not cost effective. We offer and encourage on-line renewals, which has increased over 64 percent statewide since I took office in January 2015. We also accept call in and mail in renewals. I had a deputy trained and certified to do vehicle inspections for customers that come in late on Mondays and Fridays with an out of state title when the Sheriff’s office is closed.

The best way a County Clerk can give to their community is to be in the office, overseeing the daily workings, being established, experienced and efficiently applying the knowledge that only years of dedicated service can give. I look forward to serving you, Rowan County, another 4 years. I thank you and humbly ask for your vote on Nov. 6.

Elwood Caudill

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As your next Rowan County Clerk, I will use my experience to serve all people equally, provide friendly customer service, expand the duties of the office, work to move the office into the 21st century, and be a good steward of taxpayer dollars. All people deserved to be treated with respect and dignity. I will ensure that everyone who enters my office is treated fairly and I will always uphold the law. I will also ensure friendly customer service. People should not dread coming to the Clerk's office and should be welcomed with a smile.

There is room for growth and expansion in the Rowan County Clerk's Office. I will collaborate with the schools to teach a civics class to all seniors to instruct students on their civic duties and the importance of voting. I will work with the college to teach civic engagement to students. Voting is a constitutional right that everyone should exercise, regardless of party. It is the job of the Clerk's Office to increase voter registration. I will also collaborate with community partners to help hard-working families prevent the sale of their tax bills to third parties who charge outrageous interest rates. The National League of Cities has developed a program to identify residents at financial risk of losing their home. The residents are connected with financial consultants to help take care of debt and plan to repay what is owed. This would help our hard-working families keep their homes through early intervention.

I will also move the office into the 21st Century to provide you with up to date information. I will collaborate with Morehead State University and the Innovation Launch Pad to develop an app that you can use from your phone. I will also ensure that the office has active social media pages and an updated website. As a taxpayer, you deserve to have updated information in an easy and accessible manner. With your busy schedule, you also should be able to complete tasks online without having to leave your home.

I have over 21 years of experience in the P.V.A. office. As your current chief deputy, I have drafted, implemented, and overseen the office budget. I have managed employees and managed numerous and important property records. I am responsible for property assessments and play a vital role in the property tax collection process. I will use my experience overseeing and collecting taxes in the P.V.A. office to effectively oversee and manage taxes and fees collected in the Clerk's Office. I promise to be a good steward of your hard earned money.

As a native of Rowan County, I am committed to this community and its growth. The Clerk's Office plays a vital role in the prosperity of Rowan County. I am running to make Rowan County a better place for all of us. I humbly ask for your vote on Nov. 6.

Mayor of Morehead

Jim Tom Trent

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Four years ago the voters of Morehead entrusted me with the best and most important job of my life, the seat as the Mayor of my hometown. And I made a promise to our citizens that I would work tirelessly to improve three main areas of our City: Public Safety, Recreation and Downtown Revitalization. PROMISES MADE.

To date, my administration along with City Council, has committed over $5 million to enhancing and upgrading Public Safety, including the acquisition of a 100-foot ladder truck for the fire department as well as plans for a state-of-the-art Police/Fire/911 Public Safety building. Taxpayers expect first class service when they have to call for emergency services. It has always been my administration and City Council’s strong belief that we must provide our first responders and emergency personnel with the first class training, equipment and facilities with which to provide that service.

Through invaluable and unprecedented community collaboration and partnerships that saved city taxpayers over $500,000, we have also committed over $2 million to Recreation in the form of a brand new Splash Pad, Playground, Basketball Courts, Dog Park, Concession Stand, much needed additional parking, We also have future plans to add a lazy river around the splash pad, a kayak launch and fishing pier on the banks of Triplett Creek as well as a Senior Activity Center, Indoor Recreation Center and New Walking Track around the Splash Pad property.

As far as the Development of Downtown, we first began with the “straightening” of Main Street, which improved parking, visibility, safety and attractiveness of our Downtown Corridor. Then, through more collaboration and partnerships, we were able to create a Downtown TIF (Tax Increment Financing) District to incentivize prospective developers and investors. This has led to an unprecedented stream of investment in our downtown with such future developments as a 100+ room hotel, 150 car parking garage and other planned investments coming very soon. We have also made a commitment to bring our connectivity up to par with the strongest communities across the world thru our plans to make Morehead a GigaBit City by the implementation of a state-of-the-art high speed broadband fiber network. All of this and more has been accomplished by careful and strategic use of taxpayer’s money, all the while receiving excellent audits, bond ratings, and maintaining a balanced budget with necessary reserves. PROMISES KEPT.

We have come a long way in such a short time and we have only just begun. If re-elected, I promise to Continue the Progress.

I humbly and respectfully ask for your vote on Nov. 6.


Mayor Jim Tom Trent

Vote for Laura White-Brown for Mayor of Morehead! My husband and I were both born and raised in Morehead and are now raising our two children in this city. I am invested in this community.

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My plan is to move Morehead forward towards positive growth and livability. My platform includes five stages, that all connect to form one overall process. First, we have a need to focus on safety. I commit myself to working with law enforcement agencies to continue to fight the opioid epidemic and focus on recovery and prevention efforts in our city.

Second, I will focus on business and economic development.  We should provide support for business owners and entrepreneurs who invest money in this city to help it grow and prosper. We also need to focus on finding new industry to establish in Morehead.

While growth in downtown is important we should also examine the potential growth in north Morehead. The third topic leads me to a subject that is a top priority in every election cycle, recreation. I am a huge advocate for recreation for ALL ages. Right now, we as a city have opportunities for youth that play sports and that is the extent of recreation.

We need to expand beyond that. Other cities in the state include kayaking in their recreation department. We can do that on Triplett Creek. Let’s offer services where people can use paddleboards, canoes, and kayaks. In Morehead, 11 percent of the population are seniors and 78 percent of our city is made up working people ages 16-64 ( We also are lacking recreation avenues for young adults and middle-aged citizens.

By improving our sidewalks and streets it will encourage people to do more walking within the city, therefore, improving their quality of life. This leads to the fourth goal in my platform which is improved infrastructure. I live right in the heart of town on North Wilson Avenue, our roads are in poor condition and that is undeniable. The road conditions are narrow with potholes and limited or no sidewalks. If there are sidewalks, they are in poor condition making them hazardous. Those using sidewalks with strollers, accessibility issues, exercising, or with animals creates a safety issue because of the lack of upkeep. Our sidewalks simply need improved.

There is one final piece that ties all of this together and that is improving collaboration. As a city we need St. Claire Regional Medical Center, Morehead State, MCTC-Rowan Campus, and the Rowan County School system working together so that all groups thrive.

By utilizing all of Morehead’s remarkable resources we can move Morehead forward in a direction that creates a unified community. All of these areas I have and will devote myself to improving, when elected as your mayor. I am confident I have the professionalism and integrity to lead this city. I vow to use complete transparency when spending taxpayer dollars. I humbly ask for your vote on Nov. 6.