By Jeff Noble / Staff Writer
Now, with this being the day before Christmas, a few bundles to tie up on next year’s elections.
First, three candidates have thrown their hats (on in this case because of the cold weather, their toboggans) into the ring for the primaries next May.
In Whitley County, the crowded field of candidates for Jailer has gotten more crowded.
Melinda Moses, RN, 46, of Williamsburg filed last Friday to enter the Jailer’s race in the Republican primary.
She’ll join Bill Moses, Brian Lawson, Will Leach, Tommy Hurst, Sandra Hoke, Russell W. Smith and Robert Taylor, all of Williamsburg; and Shawn Jackson on Corbin in that race.
All 10 are running for the position currently held by Ken Mobley.
Mobley is running for Sheriff in the Republican primary, against incumbent Colan Harrell and Darren Gilreath, all of Corbin; Denver Bargo of Woodbine and Jim Thornton of Williamsburg.
There’s also a candidate for the Sheriff’s race in the Democratic primary. Brad Terrell, 30, of Williamsburg, recently announced he’s running for the Sheriff’s position in that party’s May election.
As of Monday, 44 persons — 42 Republicans and 2 Democrats — have officially completed their paperwork to get their names on the ballot.
Knox County also has another candidate entering the primary field.
Michael Eversole, 45, of Hinkle recently became the sixth Republican to run for the District 2 Magistrate seat.
Eversole joins incumbent Keith Abner of Barbourville, Randall Slusher and Travis Hubbard of Flat Lick, Wayne Hall of Dewitt, and Paul Carmack of Bimble on the GOP side, and Democrat Stacey Roark of Flat Lick, in that race.
A total of 38 candidates — 31 Republicans and 7 Democrats — are running in Knox County as of Monday.
In Laurel County, no new candidates have filed as of Monday.
A total of 32 candidates — all Republicans — have filed for the May primary races in that county.
Those candidates who plan to run for office in Whitley, Knox and Laurel Counties have until Jan. 28 to file their intent to do so with their County Clerk’s Offices.
As for candidates in the state legislature and judicial races, we have these updates.
In the Kentucky General Assembly, two candidates have filed for the State Representative race in the 82nd District.
Incumbent Regina Petrey Bunch, and Eskridge Andy Shelton, both of Williamsburg, will run in the Republican primary in May.
The 82nd District is made up of all of Whitley and a part of southern Laurel County.
Two other candidates will go against each other in the Republican primary for the State Representative seat in the 89th District — made up of a section of Laurel County, and all of Jackson and Owsley counties.
Both Joey Jayson Taylor II of East Bernstadt, and Michael Bryant of London, are running for the seat held by incumbent Republican Marie Rader of McKee.
No one has currently filed for the State Representative race in the 86th District, which includes all of Knox County and part of Laurel County. The incumbent is Jim Stewart III, a Republican from Flat Lick.
Same with the the State Representative race in the 85th District, which includes a portion of Laurel County and most of eastern Pulaski County. The incumbent is Tommy Turner, a Republican from Somerset.
In the judicial races — which are nonpartisan — two incumbents have filed for Court of Appeals Judge.
Michael Caperton of London filed in November for the seat in the 3rd Appellate District, Division 1.
James H. Lambert of Mt. Vernon filed earlier this month for the seat in the 3rd Appellate District, Division 2.
Knox, Laurel and Whitley counties are included in the 3rd Appellate District of the state Court of Appeals.
Two other incumbents have filed for re-election for Circuit Court Judge in the 27th Circuit, made up of Laurel and Knox counties.
Greg Lay of London field earlier this month for the seat in Division 1, while Tom Jensen of London filed for the seat in Division 2 back in November.
That’s the same for two more incumbents filing for re-election for Circuit Court Judge in the 34th Circuit, made up of Whitley and McCreary counties.
Dan Ballou of Williamsburg filed for the seat in Division 1, while Paul K. Winchester of Corbin did so for Division 2. Both made it official back in November.
One candidate has announced for the Family Court Judge race in the 27th Circuit, Division 3. That would be Stephen M. Jones of London. The incumbent is Durenda Lundy Lawson of London.
Two incumbents have also filed for District Court Judge in the 27th District, made up of Knox and Laurel counties.
Wendell Lewis “Skip” Hammons of Barbourville announced in November he’d run in Division 1, while John Paul Chappell of London made his intent to run in Division 2, also in November.
That’s also the case in District Court in the 34th District, where both incumbents have filed for reelection. That district is made up of Whitley and McCreary counties.
Cathy Prewitt of Corbin made it official to run in Division 1, while Fred F. White of Williamsburg announced he’ll run for the Division 2 seat.
Finally, if you’re a registered voter who wants to vote in another party’s May primary, or get ballot access in next year’s regular elections as an Independent or a different political party, you’ll need to change your registration no later than next Tuesday, Dec. 31.
To be qualified to vote in a partisan primary election, the Secretary of State’s Office says voters must have been a member of that party on Dec. 31 of the preceding year, or a new registrant who hasn’t changed his or her affiliation. If you change your affiliation after Dec. 31 of this year won’t be eligible to vote in partisan races in the May primary, although they can vote in nonpartisan races on the May ballot.
The deadline to change affiliation also applies to candidates who want to run in the 2014 regular elections.
State law says for one to be qualified as a party or Independent candidate in a regular election, a candidate’s registration status generally must be established by December 31 of the year preceding the election.
“Kentucky has closed primaries, and we want to make sure all eligible Kentuckians are qualified to vote in the primary election of their choice,” Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes said in a news release from Frankfort.
Voters can verify their current registration status through the Voter Information Center. Registered voters can change party affiliation by completing a voter registration card, and retiring it to the county clerk in the county they live in. Registration forms are also available at county clerks’ offices, and can be downloaded from the State Board of Elections’ website.
If you submit your registration card by mail, it must be postmarked by Dec. 31, 2013.
If you prefer to submit your card in person, you should check with your county clerk’s office regarding their hours of operation during this holiday season.
One last reminder — the deadline to register to vote in the May 20, 2014 primary election is April 21, 2014.