CORBIN — Published Saturday, April 12, 2014
By Jeff Noble / Staff Writer
When voters in Knox County go to the polls Tuesday, May 20 for the primary election, a total of six candidates will be running for County Judge-Executive.
For the top executive position in Knox County government, registered Democrats will have three choices to pick from, while registered Republicans will also choose from three choices.
Serves four-year term. Total of six candidates in primary — three Democrats and three Republicans. Paid $93,863.53 a year. All of Knox County’s 30 precincts in five Magisterial Districts vote in this election.
NAME: Dennis Gibson
AGE: 66 years old
EDUCATION: High school graduate, 36 hours of college
OCCUPATION-EMPLOYER: Employed at CSC, Barbourville.
MEMBERSHIPS: Served 38 years with U.S. Postal Service (38 years at Barbourville, 8 as Postmaster at Bryants Store)
FAMILY: Daughter, Stephanie
POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Served as school board member.
ISSUES: 1. Jobs. Need to seek and get the help of higher officials and be constant at it. We need to catalog our buildings, so we can show what we have to offer. And we have the workers. 2. Hospital — worth 7 million — in debt 23 million. Sell the hospital to a hospital group. The county can’t operate a hospital. 3. And why did they sell the certificates of the beds in the nursing home part if they were gonna keep the hospital? J. M. Hall, County Judge-Executive has made a mess of it.
Don Napier opted not to participate in the survey.
Michael L. Warren opted not to participate in the survey.
NAME: J. M. Hall
AGE: 50 years old
EDUCATION: Barbourville High School graduate
OCCUPATION-EMPLOYER: Knox County Fiscal Court (Judge-Executive)
MEMBERSHIPS: Member, East Barbourville Baptist Church; Member, Barbourville Fire Department from 1980-2012
FAMILY: Wife, Ginger; Daughter, Kimber; Son, J.T.
POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Knox County Coroner, 1994-1998; Knox County Judge-Executive, 2007 - Present (running for third term)
ISSUES: 1. Jobs. With the Promise Zone coming into place, I think our economic development and education opportunities will be opened. We’ve started our community forums and I think we can capitalize with economic development through the Promise Zone that all of Knox County is in. We’re one of the eight counties in the zone. 2. Our hospital has been a big priority here. I know that now USDA has come in and has taken care of our loan. With that coming in place, that will free our bonding capacity, save our jobs, and keep our hospital open.
3. Our jail. We have a 32-bed jail, its budget is $2.5 million a year, and we average 200 prisoners here. Because that small jail can only hold 50 prisoners, the other 150 a day have to be outsourced to three other counties. At $25 a day for those prisoners we have to outsource to incarcerate, that’s about $3,500 a day. Now that our bonding is fixed at the hospital, we can concentrate on a bigger jail that would keep our inmates here, provide jobs here, and families won’t have to travel out of town to see family members.
NAME: Larry Sizemore
AGE: 57 years old
EDUCATION: High school
OCCUPATION-EMPLOYER: Custodian, Knox County Board of Education
FAMILY: Wife, Ollie; Daughters, Leslie Sizemore, Cynthia Goodin
POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: None
ISSUES: 1. Jobs - Solicit companies to bring jobs to Knox County. This is a real important issue. 2. Hospital - Upgrading Knox County Hospital and keep it open. 3. Things for our kids to do - Movie theaters, skating rinks. I will survey the kids to see what they want and then push to bring it here to Knox County.