When long-serving magistrate Curtis Watkins died last month, it left some pretty big shoes to fill.
Barry Joe Wright of Olmstead says he knows he could never come close to filling those shoes but will try to be the best representative possible for the people of the third district and the county as a whole.
Wright was recently appointed by Governor Steve Beshear to serve in the vacated seat left by Watkins until the November election.
Watkins was serving in his fourth term as a popular county official and replacing his knowledge and likability after he died was most surly going to be a daunting task. According to the law, Watkins’s seat had to be appointed by the governor after nominations were submitted from all party affiliations. Wright, a democrat, filled out the necessary paperwork and was one of the nominations that was submitted by the Logan County Democrats.
“I have always thought of Curtis Watkins as a great magistrate, one who cared about the people he served. It was unfortunate I was placed in this position in this way but I will try to do the best I can for the betterment of the third district and the county as well,” said Wright. “Curtis left big shoes to fill.”
Wright, who is a farmer, said he had considered running for magistrate but admitted Curtis Watkins did such a great job, he didn’t see the need until now.
“I’ve lived in the third district all my life and I’ve always cared for the people. I’m looking forward to doing what I can for this community. I can’t thank the committee enough as well as Governor Steve Beshear for having faith in my abilities to serve Logan County as magistrate,” said Wright.
This isn’t Wright’s first experience serving, he has served on the FSA Board as Charmian, Southern States Board and Soil Conservation Board.
Wright is a 1984 graduate of Logan County High School. He is the son of Joe Bailey and Barbara Wright. He was raised on a large family farm and began working with his father farming at a young age. Wright picked up on his father’s profession and carried on farming 1,800 of his own growing soybeans, corn, wheat and tobacco.
Wright and his wife Carol Ann, have two children, Bethany Carol, 19, who is currently at Western Kentucky University studying Agribusiness and Adam, 14, who will be a freshman at Logan County High School this fall.
“I have a good bunch of people to work with,” said Wright, speaking of his fellow fiscal court members. He says he has already done a great deal of research of his own preparing him to hit the ground running as magistrate. “I still have some to learn but I’m ready to begin working for the people,” Wright said.
Wright committed to plans to run for the seat in the upcoming November election.
“I will be working for the future and be a voice for the people in district three,” said Wright adding he will also be working for the employees of the county and assuring the budget is balanced.