Record number of candidates for city commission race

August 15, 2018 | 12:27 pm

Updated August 15, 2018 | 2:32 pm

Yesterday marked the last day to file as a candidate for local office, with many last-day candidates throwing their hat in the race.

According to Richard House, Chief Deputy of Daviess County Clerk’s Office, 2016 was the first city commission election without a primary. Ten candidates were on the ballot that year. This year an all-time high of 12 non-partisan candidates will be on the Owensboro City Commission ballot in November, with only four seats available.

Three incumbents — Pam Smith-Wright, Larry Conder and Jay Velotta — will all run for reelection, while nine others will vie for a seat on the city commission board. Mayor Pro-Tem Bob Glenn is not seeking reelection as he has entered the Kentucky State Senate race against Matt Castlen.

Adam Marshall, 33, is the manager of RiverCity Pawn and is running for City Commission, his first time running for elected office. Marshall says that he feels an obligation as a part of the younger generation to look at issues facing the community from a different perspective, especially concerning the city budget. Marshall said funding to OMU and RWRA needs to be addressed instead of placing the financial burden on taxpayers.

“We are seeing the benefits of downtown,” Marshall said, “but our city infrastructure is falling apart. We just don’t see it because it’s underground.”

Two seats are open on the Owensboro Public Schools board with three candidates running. Incumbent John Blaney Jr. is running to keep his seat with Michael Johnson and Jeremy Luckett opposing him. Luckett is a physician at Vineyard Primary Care and graduated from Leadership Owensboro earlier this year. As a part of the leadership program, Luckett interviewed OPS board member Jeremy Edge, which he says inspired him to run for the board as well.

“I believe I can do a good job and make it an even better district than it already is,” Luckett said. “I want to be a part of their decision making process.”

Whitesville has four city commission seats open with six potential candidates. 2018 is a mayoral election year for Whitesville, with two female candidates — Jennifer Wedding Hardesty and Patsy Mayfield.

Attorney Misty M. Miller will face incumbent Daniel M. “Nick” Burlew in the District Judge Division III race, a position Burlew has held since October 2009.

Also on the ballot this November will be a wet/dry vote for the Philpot East precinct. The Utica precinct submitted a wet/dry petition yesterday, which is currently under review. The precinct was required to have 180 signatures (25 percent of who voted in the 2016 presidential election) and Chief Deputy House expects that decision will be finalized sometime today. Both Philpot East and Utica are currently dry precincts and are petitioning for wet status.

House says that on Thursday the ballot order will be drawn at 2 p.m. in the Daviess County Courthouse lobby. Ballots should be printed around mid-September, when absentee ballots will be mailed.

Voters will see the following candidates for Daviess County, Owensboro and Whitesville on the ballot in November:

Daviess County Commissioner, Charlie Castlen (R), is unopposed.

Central District Constable, Steve Nave (D), is unopposed.

Central District Justice of the Peace, Chris Saalwaechter (D), is unopposed.

Circuit Court Clerk, Jennifer Besecker (D), is unopposed.

Commonwealth Attorney, Bruce Kuegel (D), is unopposed.

Coroner, Jeffrey Jones (D), is unopposed.

County Attorney, Claud Porter (D), is unopposed.

County Clerk

Richard House (D) is the Chief Deputy Clerk at the Daviess County Clerk’s Office, a position he has held for 22 years. 

Leslie McCarty (R) has worked at the Daviess County Public Library since 2003 and has been manager of the Kentucky Room since 2012. She has also held the position of Interim Director for seven months. McCarty is the president of the Whitesville Historical Society.

East County Commissioner

Mike Koger (D) is running for reelection. He wants to give back to the community he loves. He takes pride in addressing each concern and question from citizens as diligently and personally as possible.

Jimmie Sapp (R) was educated at North America Service Training. He is an automotive technician and a business owner in Owensboro.

Eastern District Constable

Daniel Bennett (R) is an insurance broker/agent at Bennett Insurance Agency, LLC. He serves as the deputy central constable for Daviess County and was a former driver at the Owensboro Fire Department.

David Underhill (D) is seeking reelection for Daviess County constable. Underhill has been serving the Daviess County community since 1986 as part of the Daviess County Sheriff’s Department. He was promoted from sergeant to lieutenant last year.

Eastern District Justice of the Peace

Jerry McCandless (D) – Owensboro Time was unable to reach McCandless for information.

Anthony Cobb (R) has been endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #16. Cobb graduated from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. Cobb is an Army combat veteran who served in Iraq and a retired Daviess County constable.


Deborah Duncan (D) has 25 years of corrections and business experience. Duncan worked at the DCDC for over 10 years and served as program director, supervisor of prisoners and staff, staff trainer, developer of facility policies and procedures and has worked with Circuit and District Courts, Fiscal Court, County Attorney, OPD, Kentucky State Police, and Sheriff’s Office.

Arthur Maglinger (R) (incumbent) was appointed to the position of Daviess County Jailer on August 31, 2017 and still serves as jailer. Maglinger worked for OPD from 2004 to 2017, with six years as a detective and was also a member of OPD’s Emergency Response Team.

Judge Executive Al Mattingly (R) is unopposed.

Property Value Administrator Rachel Pence Foster (D) is unopposed.

Sheriff Keith Cain (D) is unopposed.

West County Commissioner, George Wathen (R), is unopposed.

Western District Constable

Paul Westerfield (D) is running for Daviess County Constable and has support through a Facebook page dedicated to his campaign.

Kris Crawford (R) (incumbent) Crawford has 18 years of law enforcement experience and a strong dedication to his community. Crawford was an officer in a state prison and served as sergeant at the Daviess County Detention Center. Crawford has 10 years experience as the Daviess County western district constable.

Charles McCarty (Independent) Owensboro Time was unable to reach McCarty for information.

Western District Justice of the Peace, Cathy Kramer (R), is unopposed.

City Commissioner Candidates

Larry Conder (incumbent) spent 15 years working for Texas Gas before becoming a city commissioner, and is currently the Director of Operation and Gas Supply for Public Energy Authority of Kentucky. He has served on several local boards in Owensboro and was elected Entrepreneur of the Year by the Owensboro Chamber of Commerce in 2010.

Andy Gamblin ran for Owensboro city commissioner in 2016 and earned 1,950 votes, though he fell short of being elected. Gamblin works as a bus monitor for Owensboro Public Schools. He believes in keeping Owensboro moving forward by monitoring spending to stay out of debt and lessening the tax burden put upon residents of Owensboro.

Maegan Hagan is running for city commissioner for the first time with hopes she can change Owensboro for the better. Hagan is an active participant in the community with experience in banking, social services and business. This is Hagan’s first run for commissioner.

Larry Maglinger is the CEO of Custom Audio-Video in Owensboro. Maglinger works as a Rod Stewart impersonator and has 42 years of business experience. He has strong stands toward public safety and helping businesses to prosper in Owensboro.

Adam Marshall is running for city commissioner for the first time. Marshall works as a Pawn Shop Manager and graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a Bachelor’s degree in Homeland Security. Marshall works as a weather spotter and served on the Community Emergency Response Team when he has the extra time.

Joseph Martin ran for Owensboro city commissioner in 2016. Though he didn’t win, he did earn 4,244 votes from Owensboro residents. Martin also ran for Daviess County Clerk in 2018.

Mark McCoy is running for Owensboro city commissioner for the first time and is a Senior Clinical Research Associate with Syneos Health. McCoy graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelors of Fine Arts and retired from the Army National Guard in 2006 as a Chief Warrant Officer. McCoy believes in fiscal responsibility and transparency.  

Rick Searcy is the current Vice President of Community Living Options at Wendell Foster. Prior to this, Searcy served as the Executive Director at the H.L. Neblett Community Center, Inc. Searcy has a Bachelor of Science in Communication Arts from Kentucky Wesleyan College. This is his first time running for city commissioner.

Charlie Shelton is a certified public accountant whom also has experience working in the electrical utility industry, retail banking and public accounting. Shelton graduated from the University of Louisville with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and earned another bachelor’s degree in 2008 in Accounting and Professional Services from USI.

Pamela Smith-Wright (incumbent) has served as an Owensboro City Commissioner since 2011. Smith-Wright is the president and owner of Tastefully Yours Catering. She has served on numerous boards for the city and has won awards for her dedication to Owensboro. Smith-Wright believes in transparency at City Hall and city development.

Jay Velotta (incumbent) works full-time as a real estate professional focused on residential sales/marketing, commercial real estate development, property management and leasing services. Velotta currently works as a real estate broker at Gulf Streams Commercial Services, LLC and has served as city commissioner since January 2017.

Whitesville Mayor

Jennifer Wedding Hardesty wants to better her community and stands for 100 percent work ethic toward achieving that goal. Hardesty works as a full-time bus monitor for the Ohio County school system and graduated from Daviess County High School. Hardesty formerly worked as the city’s park director.

Patsy Mayfield is a City Commissioner at Whitesville City Hall and has been a Lieutenant for the Whitesville Fire Department since 1997. Mayfield is a proud supporter of her community and is involved in planning many activities for the Whitesville community.

Whitesville City Commissioner

Robert “Bob” Abell (incumbent) is the meat manager at Houchens Industries. He went to Whitesville Trinity High School and is an active member of the Whitesville Lions Club and the community.

Joseph “Joey” Beatty (incumbent) works for the Kentucky Department of Education and formerly worked for the City of Owensboro. Beatty studied accountancy at Brescia University and is a graduate of Whitesville Trinity High School.

Greg Beyke runs A & G Farms in Whitesville and grows produce, flowers and pumpkins. Beyke currently serves as the Whitesville mayor.

Shawn Crabtree – Owensboro Time was unable to reach Crabtree for information.

Joseph “Buddy” Mattingly (incumbent) has served as Whitesville city commissioner for a number of years and is running for reelection.

Clarence Merritt ran for Whitesville city commissioner last election. While Merritt didn’t win, he did secure 119 votes in the 2016 election.

Daviess County School Board, Tom Payne, is unopposed.

Daviess County School Board, James Morgan, is unopposed.

Owensboro City School Board

John Blaney, Jr. (incumbent) will seek reelection as a board member for the OPS school district. Blaney has served on the school board for several years and was also elected as Board Chair.

Jeremy Luckett is an Internal Medicine Physician at Vineyard Primary Care. He was formerly a physician at Bluegrass International Medicine. This is Luckett’s first year running, and he supports the high standards set for the OPS school district.

Michael Johnson – Owensboro Time was unable to reach Johnson for information.

Soil & Water Conservation, Mark Irby, is unopposed.

Soil & Water Conservation, Jeff Rice, is unopposed.

Soil & Water Conservation, Suzanne White, is unopposed.

August 15, 2018 | 12:27 pm

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