If national politics was not enough to wear you out it is now time to think about county elections again. That is right. Four years went by quickly and here we are again with county elections coming up next. Qualifying for the various races has been going on for a few weeks now and the lineup of candidates is pretty well in place.
The following candidates have qualified to seek office:
County Judge Executive – Logan Chick (D) The man who beat the old county machine some years back. From grocery store owner to shrewd county leader, Chick has proven to be a very good leader. So far no opposition. He knows how to win friends and influence people. With his quiet manner and air of fairness he has few enemies and lots of support. County
Clerk – Scotty Harper (D) is the very popular incumbent. So far no one has qualified to run against him and I doubt there will be. He has built up a strong base of support with his very likable personality and high rating on job performance.
County Sheriff – Wallace Whittaker (D) is also extremely popular. To date no one has qualified to run against him. With his record as the drug fighting sheriff and as a man that does not sit behind a desk, and is out in the field with his officers, he has developed very strong support in all parts of the county. Whittaker would be a hard one to beat.
County Jailer - Phil Gregory (R) & Wendell Jackson (D). The current Jailer Jenkins is not running for re-election. This leaves an open seat. Last election Phil Gregory came within 37 votes of unseating Jenkins. This is going to be one of the toughest of all the county races. I expect both political parties to put money and effort into this particular race. It will be hard fought with lots of issues. Both are popular candidates in their own right and good campaigners. Watch the sparks fly!
County Attorney – Joe Ross (D) His first race was a tough one but he came out on top. This time no opposition has surfaced. It could be because he has done a good job. People like Joe where ever he goes. He is as sharp as a tact! He also has a wife that is a real asset in any campaign. I look for a great future for this young prosecutor.
Magistrate District 1 – Russell Poore (D) & Dickie Carter (R). This is going to be a heck of a race. Look out for a real fight to the wire. Both have served as county magistrate. Both know how to campaign. I expect there will be a lot of issues in this campaign. If a mud ball comes flying through the air out of District 1 just duck.
Magistrate District 2 – Wayne Stratton (D) & Jack Crossley (D). Here again are two individuals who have served as magistrates. They are running in the south part of the county and covering a large territory. They are going to have some big gas bills. This may prove to be one of the two most colorful races in the county.
Magistrate District 3 – Gary Sears (D) & Barry Joe Wright (D). It is my understanding that there is going to be a number of issues in this campaign. Look for a lot of e-mails and signs in this campaign. Both candidates have a lot of friends throughout this district.
Magistrate District 4 – Drexel Johnson (D) & Mike Kirby (D). Two likeable candidates with lots of family and friends on both sides. I am not sure that there are many differences that separate these two candidates. Maybe there are. After the first of the year I hear one of the candidates is going to come out with a platform or list of issues he is running on. I also hear there is going to be some BBQ dinners and hamburger suppers in the district during campaign time. Magistrate
District 5 – Joe Orange (R). Orange is the only woman and only unopposed candidate in the six district races for magistrate. Smart, tough and with a backbone this woman is not to be messed with. She marches to her own drummer and does not particularly care what others think. She watches the budget closely and carries a big vote out of the Auburn area. She makes me wonder why more women do not run for office locally.
Magistrate District 6 – Thomas Bouldin (D) & Clay Bilyeu (D). This can prove to be a very interesting race. Two very well known candidates not only in their district but countywide as well. This will not be a dull campaign. Look for lots of entertainment at the campaign stops and special events. Both candidates have a lot of supporters in this district. I plan to watch this campaign closely. Not sure of any particular issues in this district but I am sure they will surface very quickly.
County PVA - Ben Brown has been around a good while and is well respected. He must be doing a pretty good job since no one has decided to run against him. I have a feeling he can have this job as long as he chooses to run for the position.
County Coroner – Mary Givens - No opposition. Everyone I have asked says Mary Givens is doing a good job and that they like her. In fact I asked ten different people from all walks of life and all ten told me the same thing. They like Mary Givens. I asked an 11th person who was standing nearby. He told me he was not from Logan County but since he heard two others say they liked Mary he did too.
Well, that is the current report. Look for an interesting campaign season. Now is the time I wish I was in the printing business so I could make a little money printing up all the campaign signs and bumper stickers.