The coming new year is an election year and candidates are filing to fill positions up and down city and county governments. The deadline to file as a candidate in the 2022 primary election is Jan. 7, 2022.
There are two candidates so far to announce their candidacy for Muhlenberg County Judge-Executive. The judge-executive serves as the chief executive of county government, responsible for the administration of affairs and execution of all contracts, ordinances and resolutions of the fiscal court.
Incumbent Curtis McGehee will not seek reelection for a second term. Vying for the position are a veteran in county government and a newcomer to politics.
Gaylan Spurlin is running for the office of Judge-Executive, after taking a few years off since leaving his long-time post as the Muhlenberg County Clerk. Spurlin was first elected as County Clerk in 1989 and served seven terms in that position. Spurlin retired in 2018, and lives in Greenville. He is running as a Democrat.
Jordan Baize, of is also running for Judge-Executive. Baize is head of finance at Owensboro Area Shelter and lives in Bremen. This is the first time he has run for a political office and he is running as a Republican.
There are two candidates currently running for the Muhlenberg County Sheriff. Incumbent Will Ward and challenger Jerry Knight. Both are running as Democrats.
As second in command with the Muhlenberg County Sheriff’s Office, Ward was appointed Sheriff after the death of Sheriff Ricki Allen in 2020. He has served in the county sheriff’s office since 2004.
Knight is currently a deputy in the Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office, served as a Muhlenberg County Sheriff’s deputy and is a retired Kentucky State Police trooper.
There are two candidates who have filed to run for Magistrate in District 2, which includes the communities of Drakesboro, Beechmont, Belton, Dunmor, Ennis and Rosewood. Darrin Benton is the incumbent, first elected in 2010 and currently serving his third term. Benton lives in Drakesboro and is an insurance agent with Kentucky Farm Bureau.
Running against Benton is Jody Fleming. This is the first run for an elected office for Fleming, who lives in Beechmont and is a licensed funeral director at Tucker Funeral Home.
District 4 Magistrate Keith Phillips has filed to run for the post again, along with challenger Kelly Melton. Phillips was elected in 2018 as a newcomer to politics. He narrowly defeated a field of eight candidates, including Melton who came in second place in that race.
Phillips is retired and operates a small business with rental properties and storage facilities. Melton is a curriculum specialist in Muhlenberg County Public Schools. Both live in Greenville and are running as Democrats. District 4 includes part of Greenville, Graham, Weir, Depoy and Bancroft.
District 1 Magistrate Malcolm West has filed to run again. District 1 includes the communities of Central City, Cleaton and Martwick.
District 3 Magistrate Ross Jones has also filed to run for a second term. District 3 includes part of Greenville, Powderly and Luzerne.
Also running for a second term is District 5 Magistrate Andrew Bullock. District 5 includes the communities of Bremen, South Carrollton, Moorman and Gishton.
Incumbents who have filed to run and are yet unopposed are County Court Clerk Crystal Smith, County Attorney Ryan Rice, Jailer Terry Nunley, Coroner Larry Vincent, PVA Belinda McKinney, Constables Rondal Hambrick and Tim Franklin, Central City Mayor Tony Armour, and Central City Councilman David Higgs.
Jay McElwain is running for District 2 Constable, a position currently held by Eddie Brake.
District 4 Constable Darrin Albro is seeking reelection, and will be running against Tim Dickerson.
Kenneth Daniel has filed to run for Mayor of Powderly, currently held by Bobby Creager.
Primary elections will be held on May 17, 2022. The last day to register to vote in the primary election is April 19. General elections will be held on Nov. 8, 2022.