By Jeff Noble / Staff Writer
Two people — one who’s been in office for 16 years, the other who has never run for public office — will face off in the race for Knox County Clerk.
That decision will be made on Tuesday, May 20, when voters registered to vote in their party’s primary election in Knox County go to the polls.
In this case, it will be registered Republicans voting in this primary race, since no Democrats filed to run.
The race for Knox County Clerk pits two Republicans — challenger Derek Collins, 35, of Barbourville, and incumbent Mike Corey, 55, of Bimble.
The Knox County Clerk serves a four-year term, and is paid $93,863.53 a year. All of Knox County’s 30 precincts in five Magisterial Districts vote in this election.
A graduate of Barbourville City High School with a Business and Computer degree from Union College, Collins is self-employed as a manager of rental property. A member of the Indian Springs Country Club where he serves as vice-president, his immediate family includes his wife Amy, a daughter Ellie and son, Samuel.
This is Collins’ first run for elected office.
Service would be the top issue he would face if Collins does win. He referred to the kind of service he would perform as County Clerk as “VIP Service” — meaning “Value, Integrity and Performance.”
He said, “I would like to assure everyone that they will be treated fairly with the utmost respect.”
Collins feels his computer degree from Union College would be of importance to the job, and make improvements possible.
“I would like to bring the Knox County Clerk’s Office into the 21st Century with technology and innovation.”
Third on Collins’ list of priorities for the office deals with elections. He stated that if we wins, “I will drive to change the views of Knox County elections. All candidates will receive a fair and honest election.”
Presently employed as Knox County clerk, Corey’s been in office since January 1999 when he won his first term. A graduate of Knox Central High School and married to his wife, Melissa, he is also Chairman of the Knox County Republican Party.
He’s running for his fifth term as County Clerk.
Corey said his top priority has been, and continues to be, serving Knox Countians in the role of County Clerk.
“We are an office of service. We strive to give citizens of Knox County the best service we can. We work hard at it, and we’re on the job six days a week. I’m here in this courthouse every morning at 7 o’clock,” he stated.
In a year where elections have been of interest in the county and throughout the state, Corey added he’s worked to help all those running for office this year, as well as in the past. He pointed out, “Since this office of County Clerk makes the County Clerk of Knox County the chief election, we assist all candidates with any needs they have.”
In addition, Corey said he and his office has also purchased technology to continue quality service and has also made it easier for residents to do their business with the County Clerk’s Office.
“We maintain some very valuable records. I’d say they’re more valuable than any of the money in the banks. We’ve upgraded our technology, and we have a computer system that’s as good as anybody’s in Kentucky. We were the first county office to have a full-time office in Corbin, and I will work with any elected officials in Knox County to move the county forward,” he said.
The winner of the Republican primary next month will go on to the general election in November. While write-in candidates are possible, there is no Democratic opposition.
By Jeff Noble / Staff Writer
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