Contested races forming in election year
By Jim Turner

Posted on January 1, 0001 12:00 AM

When Mark Stratton filed his candidacy for mayor of Russellville Friday, the eight contested race was formed in the election year in Russellville and Logan County.
Ever since Scottie Harper, Wallace Whittaker and Doug Nash filed their papers on Nov. 4, races have been shaping up for local offices in 2010. Stratton and Lanny McPherson were the 34th and 35th candidates to throw their proverbial hats into the ring nine weeks later.
Candidates for most offices must make their intentions known by Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 4 p.m.. The exceptions are those who want to run for offices in the three smaller incorporated cities in the county or, school board members and members of conservation district boards. Since those are non-partisan races, no primary is necessary and the filing deadline for those offices is not until Aug. 10.
There is no need for concern now that no candidates have filed for the six council seats in Adairville, Auburn and Lewisburg or for mayor of Lewisburg. Mayors in Auburn and Adairville are in the second year of four-year terms and are not subject to this election.

Final voting for all offices will be held Tuesday, Nov. 2, the date of the general election.
The primary election to decide Republican and Democratic nominees for various offices will be held Tuesday, May 18. Independents can file after the primary. Occasionally those who have lost in primary elections file as independents.

Currently only five of the eight contested races will be subject to the primary election. That's because the candidates in the other three are from different parties or not enough candidates have filed for certain non-partisan races so far.
No primary is held for district judge unless three or more candidates are in the race. Currently two have filed-- incumbent Sue Carol Browning and challenger Kenneth Williams. They won't be on the ballot until November unless one or more additional attorneys from Logan and Todd counties enter the race.
Russellville mayoral candidates Mark Stratton, a former councilman, and first-term incumbent councilman Doug Nash will also wait until November for votes to be cast unless incumbent mayor Gene Zick or other candidates enter the contest. Russellville ordinances call for a runoff to pare the field to two in the May primary if there are three or more candidates.
A similar situation exists for the Russellville council. If no more than a dozen candidates seek the six seats, that race will be settled in November. Thirteen or more candidates would require the field be reduced to 12 in the May primary. So far only five people are running for council-- incumbents Jack Whipple, Jimmy Davenport, Pat Walpole Bell and Lanny McPherson and challenger Joe Laird, who has expressed interest in serving in city government in previous elections. Twelve-term incumbent Russell Jones has announced he is retiring from office and Nash is running for mayor, meaning at least eight more newcomers or former council members would have to file to necessitate a runoff.

The currently contested races which will be subject to the May primary::
1) Judge/Executive: Logan Chick, who is a first-term incumbent, is being challenged by Russellville police chief Barry Dill. . Both are Democrats.
2) Jailer: Multi-term incumbent Bill Jenkins has two challengers, James 'Sonny' Duncan and James K. Penrod. All three are Democrats.
3) District 1 Magistrate: Clem 'Dickie' Carter, who is in a third stint as the incumbent, is being opposed by Russell Poore in the Democratic primary.
4) District 2 Magistrate: Long-time incumbent Harold Prince faces opposition from fellow Democrat Jack Crossley.
5) District 4 Magistrate: Drexel W. Johnson and former magistrate Ranny Adler are running as Democrats. Republican Tim Norris is also in the race; he has previously run for the same office in District 3. Incumbent Lloyd Houchens has said he won't seek another term.

Contested races not currently requiring a primary:
6) District Judge: Browning and Williams
7) Russellville Mayor: Nash and Stratton
8) County Attorney: Tom Noe, the current longest serving (consecutively) incumbent, is a Democrat. Republican John Corey Morgan is the challenger.

Running unopposed so far are these incumbents:
Property Valuation Administrator Ben Brown
Sheriff Wallace Whittaker
County Clerk Scottie Harper
Coroner Mary Givens
Third District Magistrate Curtis Watkins
Fifth District Magistrate Jo Orange
Sixth District Magistrate Thomas Bouldin
Sixth District Constable Michael Weldon

Running unopposed so far are these candidates:
District 1 Constable Sonny Vanderpool
District 2 Constable Walter McIntosh

No one has filed yet for the office of county surveyor. The same was true four years ago. The ballot spot was blank for both parties during the 2006 primaries, but Jeff Harris filed as an independent before the general election and was elected. Also without candidates entering this week were constable positions in districts three, four and five.
Members of the House of Representatives on the state and national levels are elected every two years. Veteran Congressman Ed Whitfield has filed for reelection as a Republican. Democrat Martha Jane King, who is in her first term representing Logan and Todd counties, has not filed as yet, but deputies in Harper's county clerk office said she has picked up her filing papers.
Bowling Green opthamologist Rand Paul, the son-in-law of Hilton and Lillian Ashby of Russellville, has filed his candidacy papers in an attempt to succeed U.S. Senator Jim Bunning, who is not running for another six-year term. Also expected to file for the position in Washington are fellow Republican Trey Grayson and Democrats Dan Mongiardo and Jack Conway.

The offices of circuit judge, commonwealth attorney and circuit clerk have terms longer than four years and are not subject to election this year.

The deadline to register to vote in the primary election is Monday, April 19 in the county clerk's office. It's too late to change party registration for the primary.

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