After months of guessing and untold dollars spent in campaigning, Floyd County voters will finally get their say when they head to the polls Tuesday.
Nearly all local offices are up for re-election, with many facing primary challenges. In addition, voters will also cast ballots in the U.S. Senate and Fifth District House races.
Of the many races to choose from, three are of particular interest, as they are open seats — county judge-executive, sheriff and circuit judge.
In the judge-executive’s race, former Judge-Executive Ben Hale, of Blue River, is seeking a return to the office, but faces challenges from Mike Pennington, of East Point, and Bennie M. Lafferty, of Banner. Current Judge-Executive R.D. “Doc” Marshall decided against re-election.
Likewise, in the sheriff’s race, current Sheriff John K Blackburn did not seek re-election, leaving Tuesday’s race wide open for five Democratic rivals. Squaring off in the primary will be James “Brandon” Spencer, Darren Lawson, Steve Little and John Hunt, all of Prestonsburg, as well as Ronald W. Blackburn, of Drift. And once Tuesday’s race is over, the winner will still face a Republican challenger in the fall, in the form of Joey Collins, of Garrett.
The race for circuit judge is also open, following the retirement of Judge John David Caudill. Seeking to replace him are six local attorneys — David Allen Barber, J. Sam Doyle, Ashley Tackett Laferty, Earl “Mickey” McGuire, C.V. Reynolds and Thomas M. Smith. Tuesday’s race will narrow that field to the two top vote-getters, who will square off against each other in November.
Another competitive contest is in the race for jailer, where incumbent Cheyenne McKinney is facing his first election, after being appointed to the position last year, following the retirement of former Jailer Roger Webb. He faces challenges from Dale Johnson, of Prestonsburg; Lowell (Dougie) Marcum, of Allen; Lowell Samons Jr., of Banner; Stan Lee, Stuart “Bear” Halbert and Lance Allen Hall, all of Martin; and Jerry Case, of Garrett.
Voters will also face choices in races for magistrate, coroner, constable and county surveyor.
Most of the voting on Tuesday will be done by Democrats, because Kentucky has a closed primary system. The only Republican race on the ballot is the U.S. Senate race. Republicans, independents and those registered with third parties can also vote in the nonpartisan circuit judge’s race.
Polls will be open from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m.
An advertisement in the Wednesday, May 14, edition of The Floyd County Times incorrectly identified the location of two precincts.
Precinct #20 was incorrectly listed as “John Halbert Building.” Voting for Precinct #20 will actually take place at Garth Vocational School.
Precinct #22 was incorrectly listed as “E.P. Grigsby Field House.” Voting for Precinct #22 will actually take place at McDowell Grade School.