There is a big change in the legal system in Whitley and McCreary County as Ronnie Bowling, Jr. defeated Graham Trimble in the race to replace the retiring Allen Trimble.
“Euphoric!” Bowling said when asked how he felt soon after the race was called.
“For you to look at a job you have always wanted and you finally hear it announced that you have won, that is probably one of the best feelings I have ever had,” he said.
Bowling won the race by nearly 2,000 votes out of more than 10,600 ballots cast, 6,231 to 4,379.
Bowling built up a large margin in Whitley County, nearly doubling up Trimble, 4,786 to 2630. Trimble garnered more votes in McCreary County, but the 300-vote margin wasn’t enough to make up the difference.
Bowling said upon taking office on January 1, he will be looking to do a number of things including: developing, a streamlined resolution process for non-violent offenders, establishing an expedited trial process.
“I want to have definite trial dates,” Bowling said.
“We need to set the precedent so that people will know we don’t tolerate crime in Whitley County,” Bowling said.
In addition, Bowling said he wants to take more action to prevent crimes before they occur, particularly when it comes to drug-related crimes.
Working with incoming Sheriff Todd Shelley, Bowling said he wants to put the D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Program back in the schools, using forfeiture and seized drug money to fund the program.
“I believe in education and outreach and second chances,” Bowling said.
Bowling said he wants to establish an expungement clinic in his office to work with eligible convicted felons on getting their records expunged and access to training.
“It is not in the job title but it makes the community better,” Bowling said.
Graham Trimble offered his congratulations to Bowling, adding that while he is disappointed in the result, he was overwhelmed by the support he received.
“Judging by other races, there was an anti-incumbent mood among the voters and we may have gotten caught up in that,” Trimble said.
“It has been a fun time,” Trimble said of the election. “I always enjoy getting out and meeting the people.”