Tuesday, January 28, 2014

7 file for 6 seats on council; two members run for mayor; Sandy Jones of Midway in line to be county clerk

By Kayla Pickrell
University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Telecommunications

Three incumbents and four non-incumbents filed for the six seats on the Midway City Council by the 4 p.m. filing deadline Tuesday.

The incumbents are Sara Hicks, Bruce Southworth and Daniel Roller. Non-incumbents are Peggy Sharon, 244 W. Bruen St.; Libby Warfield, 251 W. Cross St.; Kaye Nita Gallagher, 122 W. Main St.; and Steven Craig, 235 Brand St.

Five minutes after the deadline, Midway merchant Leslie Penn, right, ran into the Woodford County clerk’s office with a sheaf of papers ready to file. She was responding to talk in Midway that fewer than six people were filing for council. At first she was disappointed, but then was relieved to hear that seven had filed.

“I want people to get involved, because if they don’t, they can’t complain,” said Penn, who signed the nominating petitions for Roller and Council Member Grayson Vandegrift, who is running for mayor.

Three seats on the city council are opening up because Vandegrift and longtime Council Member Sharon Turner are running for mayor, and Aaron Hamilton, another longtime member and the council's only African American, is not seeking a fifth term.

Hamilton, 64, left, said in a brief interview, "I just ran my course and had a lot on my plate. It's time to change gears."

Mayor Tom Bozarth announced in November that he would not seek a third four-year term. Council members serve two-year terms.

The number of candidates for each office was not more than double the number of seats available, so no primary election is needed to narrow the lists of candidates.

Warfield and Sharon are sisters, and say they are running as such, focusing on the community and family.

“We . . . certainly feel like we need to give back,” Warfield said. She noted that her son, Matt Warfield, had been  a council member.

Sharon said she is running because there is more “dissention than direction” in the city government, and the city needs to “continue with growth.”

Warfield unsuccessfully sought appointment by the council to a vacancy in early 2012. Craig ran ninth out of 10 in the last council election.

Gallagher was among the 25 people who signed Vandegrift’s filing papers for mayor. Others incuded Penn and her husband, Bill.

Turner’s list of five signers was headed by former council member Doris Leigh and her husband, Charles Leigh.

Craig is the brother of Magistrate Larry Craig, who filed for re-election in the Midway district. Dale Benson and Linda Popp filed against him in the Democratic primary.

Democratic County Judge-Executive John "Bear" Coyle filed for another term. Republican Bobby Gaffney also filed.

County Clerk Judie Woolums is retiring; fiscal court clerk Sandy Jones of Midway is the only candidate for clerk. Gary Gillis is not seeking re-election as property valuation administrator; his chief deputy, Judy Bobbitt, is the only candidate for PVA. Sheriff Wayne "Tiny" Wright and County Attorney Alan George drew no opposition. Independent candidates have until August to file, but must give notice by April.

In the race for state representative for Woodford County and parts of Franklin and Fayette counties, Democrat James Kay filed for re-election and Republican Ryan Schwartz filed against him. Both are lawyers who live in Versailles; Schwartz practices in Lexington. Last summer, Kay won a special election to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Democrat Carl Rollins of Midway.

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