Jo Orange will not seek fifth term as Fifth District magistrate
By Jim Turner


Posted on January 13, 2018 1:23 PM



Fifth District Magistrate Jo Orange has announced that she will not seek a fifth consecutive term on Logan Fiscal Court. Instead she plans to concentrate on helping her youngest child, Mary Orange, in her campaign for the position of Logan Circuit Court.

She made the announcement official at this week’s fiscal court meeting.

The Orange family has been actively involved in politics and government service the last couple of decades. The late Charles Orange, Jo’s husband and Mary’s father, became the first Republican to be elected commonwealth attorney for Logan and Todd counties. Their oldest child, Edwin, has worked in state government in Frankfort, as has his wife Lindsay. Their older daughter, Adairville teacher Jennifer Orange, is married to Gary Jenkins, whose mother, Elaine Jenkins, served several years as Logan County treasurer.

Dr. Josephine Orange is retired as a central office administrator for Logan County Schools.

She and fellow Republican Dickie Carter have been the consistently conservative voices and votes on fiscal court.

When she was running for her fourth term four years ago, Jo Orange told The LoJo that she has always tried to do the following:

*Spend your money wisely to make Logan County a better place to live

*Maintain and improve roads based on need instead of politics

*Exert positive leadership

*Run the county in a business-like way

*Listen to and act on the needs and concerns of my constituents

According to WRUS News, she told her fellow magistrates that although there are very few issues that come before fiscal court affecting the circuit clerk’s office, she wants to avoid the appearance of conflict of interest.

She also spends a lot of time with her elderly mother, Rena Vanzee.

Mary Orange is a graduate of Logan County High School and the University of Kentucky School of Law. She has been married to Stephen Hardison for almost seven years, and they live in the Chandlers area. She has been working as staff attorney in the office of Circuit Judge Tyler Gill, but has given up that position to concentrate on her campaign.

She is unopposed in the Republican primary. In fact, no one can run for the office except Orange and the incumbent because the deadline for taking the qualifying examination has passed, and she was the only one to take it.

Incumbent Sherry J. Wilkins is running for reelection as a Democrat. She has worked in the circuit clerk’s office for over 40 years, serving under the late Marion ‘Dealer” Johnson and Jim Nealy before beginning a series of successful races for the office herself.

A graduate of Russellville High School, the former Sherry Johnson is married to Jerry Wilkins. They have two grown children, Brent Wilkins and Christy Wilkins. Christy also works in the courthouse.

Since neither will be opposed in the primaries, Wilkins and Orange will face off against each other in November.

Steve Stratton is the first person to file for the Fifth District seat Jo Orange is giving up. He and his wife Beth live in the Auburn area. He taught at Logan County High School, retired as assistant principal at Adairville Elementary School and is now a sales associate in real estate. Their grown children, Stephen Stratton and Amy Stratton, work for government agencies in Logan County.

Stratton’s brother Wayne is a former magistrate from the Adairville area.

Steve Stratton says, “Jo has a done a great job and I appreciate her hard work and dedication to improving the lives of each us, not only as a magistrate but her many years of work with the Logan County Schools.

The deadline for filing for offices that require a primary election is Jan. 30 in the office of County Clerk Scottie Harper.




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