The battle lines are now set for the 2020 elections in Whitley County following the passage of the candidate filing deadline at 4 p.m. Friday, and there will be a two-way race to fill the remainder of former Whitley County Clerk Kay Schwartz’s term in office.
Schwartz retired on Nov. 30, and long-time deputy clerk Carolyn Willis was named interim clerk.
Willis is running for the position and faces opposition from T.J. Hamblin.
Hamblin. In his only other try at political office, Hamblin unsuccessfully ran for Whitley County Coroner in 2014 losing to incumbent Andy Croley by a vote of 6,023 to 2,044.
This is Willis first run for public office.
This won’t be the only locally contested race on the May Primary Election ballot.
The 82nd Kentucky Representative race features a rematch from two years ago as incumbent Regina Huff will square off against local teacher Matt Anderson.
In the 2018 Republican Primary Election, Huff garnered a total of 4,961 votes to Anderson’s 3,841 votes to win the Republican nomination.
The 82nd District includes all of Whitley County and four precincts in Laurel County.
Rather than seek re-election, incumbent Corbin City Commissioner David Hart instead filed to run for the 86th state representative seat currently held by Jim Stewart III, who is retiring at the end of his current term in office.
Don Rose of Barbourville, Tom O’Dell Smith of Corbin, and Jonathan Scotty Reams of London have all also filed to run for the seat as Republicans in what will be a four-way primary election. The 86th District includes all of Knox County and part of Laurel County.
Neither the Corbin City Commission nor the Williamsburg City Council will have primary election in May. Instead candidates will appear on the November General Election ballot.
The Corbin City Commission will be getting at least two new faces next year and possibly four as all four seats on the commission are up for election and only two incumbent commissioners have filed to run for re-election.
Incumbents Brandon Shepherd and Trent Knuckles both filed to run for re-election along with local attorney M. Seth Reeves, Shannon Hall, who unsuccessfully ran for mayor two years ago, and political newcomers Allison Moore, Lisa Garrison and Daron Steele.
Incumbent Andrew Pennington didn’t seek re-election.
All six incumbent members of the Williamsburg City Council filed to run for re-election as are two political newcomers, Carl Weaver and Jane Evans Graham. The incumbents include: Loren Connell, Richard Foley, Mary Ann Stanfill, Patty Faulkner, Laurel Jeffries West and Erica Harris.
Incumbent 25th District Senator Robert Stivers, who is senate president, is unchallenged in either the primary or general election in his bid for re-election. The 25th District includes Clay, Knox, Lee Owsley, Wolfe and Whitley counties.
Several school board seats will also be up for re-election this year, but the filing deadline in those races isn’t until June 2 at 4 p.m.
In terms of national races, Fifth District Rep. Hal Rogers is facing opposition in the Republican primary from Gerardo Serrano of Tyner. The winner will face off against Democrat Matt Ryan Best of London in the November General Election.
Incumbent U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell is facing opposition from eight challengers in the Republican primary, including Nicholas Alsager, Wendell K. Crow, Paul John Frangedakis, Louis Grider, Naren James, Kenneth Lowndes, and C. Wesley Morgan.
The winner will face one of 10 people seeking the Democratic nomination in November, including: Jimmy C. Ausbrooks, Charles Booker, Mike Broihier, Maggie Jo Hilliard, Andrew J. Maynard, Amy McGrath, Eric Rothmuller, John R. Sharpensteen, Bennis J. Smith, and Mary Ann Tobin.
Incumbent U.S. President Donald J. Trump is unchallenged for the Republican nomination, and is expected to face opposition from one of 11 Democrats in the November General Election, whose names appear on the May Primary ballot: including: Michael Bennet, Joseph R. Biden, Michael R. Bloomberg, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, John K. Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar, Deval Patrick, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang.