By Jeff Noble / Staff Writer
We’re 20 days away from the deadline for potential candidates in the Tri-County to file their papers to get on this year’s election ballot.
Even with the bitter cold and winds that we dealt with this week, some more candidates came in to their county clerk’s offices to get on the bandwagon.
So far in the three counties, 131 candidates have announced their intentions to run in the May 20 primary election.
And, there will be more before the Jan. 28 deadline.
In Corbin, the first candidate to file for one of four seats on the Corbin City Commission did so Wednesday.
Incumbent Ed Tye, 74, will run again for another two-year term in the city commission race.
Williamsburg also had their first candidate announce for a City Council seat Wednesday.
That person is Laurel West, 50, currently an incumbent on the six-member council.
Both the city races in Williamsburg and Corbin are on the non-partisan ballot.
Tye and West made their intents to run known at the Whitley County Clerk’s office.
In Whitley County, the crowded race for District 3 Magistrate has gotten one more candidate in the picture.
Jerry Leach, 67, of Williamsburg, filed his papers for the race Wednesday, and is the eighth Republican in that May primary race. He joins fellow GOP candidates A. J. Barton, Matthew Taylor, Michael Fuston, Ted Barrineau, Truman Lawson, Mike Faulkner and Michael Jarboe, all of Williamsburg.
Johnny Lawson, of Williamsburg, has also filed for the seat on the Democratic side.
In November, the winner will succeed incumbent Republican Jamie Fuson as the District 3 Magistrate. Fuson is running in the May GOP primary against incumbent Whitley County Judge-Executive Pat White Jr.
Also, two people have hitched their wagons to the District 3 Constable race.
The latest to file are David Rowe, 30, and Noah Brooks Daniels, 38, both of Williamsburg.
They join Dorman Patrick Jr. and Adam L. Jarboe, both of Williamsburg, and Randall Caddell, of Emlyn, for the position. All five are Republicans.
As of Wednesday, a total of 52 candidates have filed in Whitley County. Of those candidates, the county races have 48 Republicans and two Democrats, while one candidate each is presently on the non-partisan ballot in the Corbin and Williamsburg city races.
Over in Knox County, incumbent Jerry “Rabbit” Cox has a challenger in his race for District 3 Magistrate.
John W. Bays, 57, of Artemus, filed for the seat in this May’s Republican primary. At this time, Bays and Cox are the only two candidates filing for the position.
Meanwhile, the first Democrat has entered the race for Jailer. Clyde Trent Jr. 44, of Barbourville, threw his name into the hat during the past week.
Along with Trent on the Democratic side, six Republicans — Marty Hollin and Doug Gibson, of Gray, Keith “Buster” Liford and incumbent Mary S. Hammons, of Flat Lick, Elbert Mills Jr., of Corbin, and Danny Stark, of Barbourville — are vying for the seat.
A total of 42 candidates — 34 Republicans and eight Democrats — have filed as of Wednesday to run on local races in Knox County.
And in Laurel County, the field for the six seats in the London City Council is filling up.
The latest to file is incumbent Danny Phelps, 57.
Phelps joins newcomer Kelly Smith Greene, 51, and incumbents Judd Weaver and Bobby Joe Parman in the non-partisan race.
London — like Corbin, Williamsburg, Barbourville and many cities in Kentucky — uses a non-partisan ballot for their city government elections.
In county races, Edward Allen, 49, of East Bernstadt, has filed to run for the District 4 Constable race. Allen will be in the Republican primary, and is one of five GOP candidates running. The others are Carl R. Cheek, William Hacker, Justin Noe and Bobby Joe Smith.
On Wednesday evening, Laurel County had a total of 37 candidates on the ballot. That includes 33 Republicans running for county races, and four running for non-partisan ballot city races in London.
Meanwhile at our State Capitol, another member of the Tri-County’s delegation in the General Assembly will be on the ballot in May.
Jim Stewart (R-Flat Lick) filed Tuesday in Frankfort to run for re-election. He’s the incumbent in the 86th House District, which includes all of Knox County and a portion of Laurel County.
Stewart is the only Republican in the race at this time. No other candidates have filed so far in the 86th House District.
Staff Writers LeeAnn Cain and John Ross contributed to this story.