, Corbin, KY


May 21, 2014

Brian Lawson sweeps Whitley Jailer primary election

CORBIN — By John L. Ross / Staff Writer

Eleven candidates may have campaigned for the position of Whitley County Jailer — but Brian Lawson swept the race with 34.5 percent of the votes cast Tuesday.

“I feel humbled and honored,” Lawson, 31, said late Tuesday. “To get that many of the votes, it shows there are many people in Whitley County who care about their community and who are concerned about their jail.”

He said he’s ready to go to work.

“I want to include more substance abuse programs — a 12-step program — and more faith-based programs,” Lawson said. “I also want to start a re-entry program for the county’s inmates — I want to help them get ready to return to society as a productive person, not a repeat offender.”

He wants to lead the detention center based on personal principles. “I want to refer back to my basic principles — faith, family and community — and use those principles in order to run the Whitley County Detention Center,” Lawson said. “I’m looking forward to working with everyone — I want us to work together better as one combined unit — not a bunch of separate entities.”

He expressed appreciation for help received from his family and friends.

“I especially want to thank my wife, Melissa Lawson, and my three kids, Byron, Brian and Alexis — this has been tough on them,” Lawson said. “I also want to thank my parents and grandparents, particularly my grandmother Ruth Lawson and my grandmother Christine Singleton, who passed away during this process.”

He added that his win “was not possible without everyone’s help — I just want to thank all my friends and family who helped me through this process.”

Lawson won the jailer’s race with 2,793 votes of the 8,081 votes cast.

Current deputy jailer Sandra Hoke came in second in this race, garnering 17.5 percent of the vote with 1,420 votes cast for her. Third place in this race went to Shawn Jackson, who received slightly more than 17 percent of the votes with 1,378 ballots cast for him.

Robert Taylor snagged 8.2 percent of the votes with 666 ballots cast for him. Russell Smith got the next highest vote totals, with 7.3 percent, or 596 votes for him. Will Leach received 349 votes, or 4.3 percent of the vote. Tommy Hurst was close behind with 4.2 percent, or 344 ballots cast for him. Melinda Moses garnered 4.1 percent of the votes cast, with 333 ballots for her. Arnold Gene Young received 128 votes, or 1.5 percent; Ralph Skidmore received 62 votes, or less than 1 percent; and Daniel Essek received 12 votes, also less than one percent.

“Under” votes, which are voters who skipped over that choice when taking their turn at the ballot box, totaled 183 for this race.

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