Incumbents dominate May primary elections
By Jim Turner

Posted on May 21, 2014 10:41 PM

Whether they had been elected or appointed, incumbents ruled supreme Tuesday when primary elections were held in Logan County and across Kentucky.

Every incumbent who faced opposition won his or her race. They included two countywide office holders,Sheriff Wallace Whittaker and Coroner Mary Givens, both by big margins. Five magistrates won their races. Four of them--Jack Crossley, Barry Joe Wright, Drexel Johnson and Thomas Bouldin--were reelected, since they don't face opposition in the fall. A fifth, Russell Poore, won the primary but will face GOP nominee Dickie Carter in November. All but Bouldin won with ease. He came out ahead of Clay Bilyeu by 53 votes.

Races for jailer were both close. Phil Gregory edged Chris Hightower by 32 votes in the Republican race. Wendell Jackson won over Edward Hardin by 298 votes. Jackson and Gregory will square off in the fall. There was no incumbent jailer in the race. Bill Jenkins, who had held the office 17 years, resigned early in 2014 and Interim Jailer Jim Ray did not ask voters to elect him.

Three more contested races will be held in November. Republican incumbent Jo Orange and Democrat Phillip Joe Bilyeu had no opposition in their primaries for Fifth District magistrate but will be opponents in the General Election. Ken Williams of Logan County and Nan Calloway of Todd County will oppose each other for the district judge post which is being vacated by long-time incumbent Sue Carol Browning. State Representative Martha Jane King of Logan County is being challenged in her reelection bid by Todd County attorney Jason Petrie, who is running as an independent.

U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell, a Republican, and Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, a Democrat, won their primaries with ease in both Logan and the state and will oppose each other this fall. Congressman Ed Whitfield was unopposed in the Republican primary but will face Democratic primary winner Charles Kendall Hatchet in November.

Logan Countians reelected without opposition in both the primary and general elections were Judge-Executive Logan Chick,, County Attorney Joe Ross, County Clerk Scottie Harper, Property Valuation Administrator Ben Brown and County Surveyor Jeff Harris. Candidates for Russellville mayor and city council had to file in January for the non-partisan office. Mayor Mark Stratton has no opposition. Nine candidates filed for the council. No primary was necessary but that number has to be reduced to six in the General Election.

November’s General Election ballot will also include races for city councils in Adairville, Auburn, and Lewisburg along with three school board seats in both the city and county. Some seats on conservation boards in both North Logan and South Logan will be up for grabs. The office of mayor of Lewisburg is also to be on the ballot.

These are Tuesday’s vote totals:


Sheriff: Wallace Whittaker 3,051, Steve Hadden 526, Robert Kimmel 369

Jailer: Wendell Jackson 2,034, Edward Hardin 1,736

Coroner: Mary Givens 2,555, Cheryl Allen 1,120, Tina Hudson McKinney 252

First District Magistrate: Russell Poore 433, Len Embry 205

Second District Magistrate: Jack Crossley  474, Wayne Stratton 322

Third District Magistrate: Barry Joe Wright 392, Chris Wilcutt 174, Gary Lee Sears 77, Roger Dale Knight 73, Bobby Moore 37, William Sanford 30

Fourth District Magistrate: Drexel Johnson 304, Dale Givens 179, Mike Kirby 156

Sixth District Magistrate: Thomas Bouldin 373, Clay Bilyeu 320



Jailer: Phil Gregory 588, Chris Hightower 556

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