By John L. Ross and Jeff Noble / Staff Writers
Candidates throughout the Tri-County area continue to prepare for the May 20 election — an election that will decide many races in the spring.
Thirty candidates have now officially filed paperwork with the Whitley County Clerk’s office to appear on the May 20 ballot.
Five people now vie for the county jailer’s seat.
Current jailer Ken Mobley, 62, plans to run for the sheriff’s seat and will not seek reelection.
Three people tossed their hats in the ring for the jailer’s seat in November — Tommy Hurst, 44, Sandra Hoke, 53, and Russell W. Smith, 41, all of Williamsburg.
Two more Williamsburg residents have now added their names to the ballot for jailer — Bill Moses, 76, and Brian Lawson, 30. Seven candidates previously filed documentation with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance (KREF) stating they had spent monies prior to the opening of filing, Nov. 6, so two more candidates may still file to run.
All four district magistrate seats for Whitley County are slated for the May 20 ballot.
The District 4 magistrate seat has its incumbent, Robert “Robbie” Brown, seeking to keep the seat. But Brown will now face at least three challengers in May — two have already filed, Mark Brock, 40, of Corbin, and Raleigh Meadors, 51, of Williamsburg. A third challenger has now added his name to the May ballot — Terry Huddleston, 44, of Williamsburg.
In the District 3 magistrate race, three newcomers have now filed to campaign for the seat, currently held by Magistrate Jamie Fuson. Two of those candidates filed their paperwork in November to appear on May’s ballot — Williamsburg residents Michael Jarboe, 39, and Mike Faulkner, 61.
The latest candidate to add his name to the ballot is Truman Lawson, 69, also of Williamsburg.
No one has yet to file for the District 2 magistrate seat, currently held by Magistrate David Myers.
Incumbent Roger Wells, 53, of Williamsburg has filed to keep his District 1 magistrate seat, and so far will face challenger Scotty Harrison, 42, of Williamsburg, in May.
Current 3rd District magistrate Jamie W. Fuson, 41, of Williamsburg, will campaign against incumbent Pat White, Jr., 37, of Williamsburg, who first filed to retain his seat. No new names have been added to that race.
Four candidates plan to appear on the May 20 ballot to run for the sheriff’s office.
Besides Mobley, incumbent Sheriff Colan Harrell, 67, Darren Gilreath, 35, all of Corbin, and Denver Bargo, 64, of Woodbine, will appear on the May 20 ballot as candidates for sheriff. No new candidates have filed to run for this office.
All four constable seats are up for election in May. The first, second and third districts so far have only one candidate to file for the seat.
The newest candidate to file is incumbent Lonnie Foley, 63, of Williamsburg. Other constable candidates listed include Ron “Bubba” Bowling, 49, of Corbin, who seeks to keep his 2nd District constable seat.
Dorman Patrick Jr., 27, of Williamsburg, filed his paperwork to run for the District 3 constable position.
Two residents have filed for the District 4 constable position — set to appear on the May 20 ballot are Carl Neal, 40, and Ronnie Fritts, 49, both of Corbin.
County coroner Andy Croley, 41, of Williamsburg, plans to campaign to keep his seat, and will face challenger Terry “TJ” Hamblin, 23, also of Williamsburg. Both candidates filed their paperwork to run for election in November.
County attorney Robert “Bob” Hammons, 58, of Corbin, who was elected in May 2012 for the seat and sworn in more than a year ago, has filed to run for re-election. No one has yet filed to run against him.
Also currently not facing a challenger is incumbent County Clerk Kay Schwartz, 58, of Williamsburg, who filed her paperwork to appear on May’s ballot.
Robert R. Moses, 72, of Williamsburg, is the only candidate as of Tuesday to get his name on May’s ballot for the County Surveyor seat.
All filed candidates in Whitley County, as of Tuesday, are Republican.
In Knox County, six more candidates — three Republicans and three Democrats — filed to run in the May primary during the past week.
One of them is Marty Hollin of Gray, who becomes the sixth Republican candidate to run for the Jailer’s race.
In the GOP primary, Hollin will go up against incumbent Mary S. Hammons of Flat Lick, along with challengers Keith “Buster” Liford of Flat Lick, Doug Gibson of Gray, Elbert Mills Jr. of Corbin and Danny Stark of Barbourville.
There will be a Republican primary race for the position of County Attorney. David Jorjani of Corbin will challenge incumbent Gilbert E. Holland of Barbourville.
And there’s competition on the Democratic side of the race for the District 3 Constable seat. Dennis Falconer of Barbourville put his hat in the ring, and faces Mike Bingham of Flat Lick.
As of now, the winner could face either Larry Young of Artemus, or Tim Burton of Barbourville in November. Both Young and Burton are in the Republican primary.
The incumbent Constable in District 3 is Larry W. Lawson, who has not yet filed.
Also filing over the last week are incumbent District 1 Constable Larry Eagle of Gray, who will run in the Democratic primary in May.
In addition, the race for Magistrate in District 2 will continue in November. Stacey Roark of Flat Lick filed to run in the Democratic primary. The Republican side already has five persons running in the May primary — incumbent Keith Abner of Barbourville, along with challengers Paul Carmack of Bimble, Wayne Hall of Dewitt, Randall Slusher of Flat Lick and Travis Hubbard of Flat Lick.
In the race for District 1 Magistrate, Billy Ray Smith of Gray announced he’ll run in the Republican primary. Incumbent magistrate Carson Gilbert, a Democrat, filed earlier to run for the seat in his party’s primary in May.
A total of 37 candidates — 30 Republicans and seven Democrats — have filed for Knox County offices as of Tuesday.
No new candidates have filed for offices in Laurel County during this past week.