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Candidate filing deadline is Aug. 14

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Voters have until Oct. 9 to register

By Stephen Lega

A wide variety of offices - from city hall up to the White House - will be on the ballot Nov. 6.

Local candidates who would like to run for seats in non-partisan races have until 4 p.m. Aug. 14 to file with the Marion County Clerk's Office. Write-in candidates have until Oct. 26 to file to run.

The biggest race on the fall ballot will pit incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden again Republican challenger Mitt Romney, who has not yet named his running mate.

Kentucky voters will also have a pair of write-in options for President. Richard Duncan of Aurora, Ohio, has filed to run with Ricky Johnson of Sharon, Penn., as his running mate, and Barbara Ann Prokopich of Elk, Wash., is running with Allen R. Farnham of Chafteroy, Wash.

Marion Countians will be voting for the representative from First Congressional District as a result of redistricting changes approved by the General Assembly earlier this year. In that race, Republican incumbent Congressman Ed Whitfield of Hopkinsville is running against Democratic challenger Charles Kendall Hatchett of Benton.

In the race for 24th District State Representative, a pair of Marion Countians will be facing one another. Democratic incumbent State Rep. Terry Mills is running against Republican Bill Pickerill, who previously served on the Lebanon City Council.

Earlier this year, the General Assembly approved revisions to the state legislative districts, but the Kentucky Supreme Court ruled those plans unconstitutional. As a result, the district boundaries will remain the same until the General Assembly can approve a constitutional plan.

For the 24th District, this means the district will remain Casey and Marion counties and a portion of Pulaski County.

The Commonwealth's Attorney seat is also up for election this fall, but Democrat Shelly Sprague Miller of Campbellsville is the only candidate who will appear on the ballot.

Local races

Three school board seats, all city council and city commissions' seats and, possibly, soil conservation district seats, will be on the ballot as well.

The school board seats for Districts 1, 4 and 5 will be on the ballot Nov. 6. These seats are currently held by Rev. DeLane Pinkston (District 1), Mike Cecil (District 4) and Bernard Miles (District 5).

Voters should keep in mind that the school board districts have changed. The Marion County Fiscal Court revised its districts earlier last year, and the board of education approved a change to its district boundaries so they would correspond with the magisterial districts.

While the district boundaries have changed, voters will still vote in the same precincts this fall.

Marion County Clerk Karen Spalding explained that the local Board of Election worked to make changes to the precinct boundaries so that no precinct would overlap two magisterial districts. Nevertheless, those changes are not yet in effect.

"Precinct boundaries have not yet been approved in Frankfort," Spalding said.

The hold up has nothing to do with Marion County, however. When the state redistricting plan was challenged in court, state election officials suspended approval of any other changes. Spalding said she sent the revised precinct boundaries to Frankfort twice, and both times the plans were returned unopened.

"We're frozen for right now," Spalding said.

In other local races, the seats on the Bradfordsville, Loretto and Raywick city commissions and the Lebanon City Council are all up for election this year.

The Marion County Soil and Water Conservation District supervisors may be on the ballot depending on how many people file to run. There are four seats on the commission, and if four people file to run, then the race will not appear on the ballot. If more than four people file to run for these seats, then this will appear on the ballot, according to Spalding.

So far, incumbent Supervisor Steve Downs is the only person who has filed.

In two other races, candidates are running unopposed. Marion Circuit Clerk Kim May is seeking re-election, and for the first time in several years, Marion County has a constable candidate. Dudley Friend Adle Jr. has filed to run for constable in District E (which is the district represented by Magistrate Roger "Cotton" Smothers"). Adle is the first person to run for constable since John Angel was elected in 1993.

A constable is considered a peace officer with authority to make arrests and serve court papers, but a constable's jurisdiction is limited to his or her district, according to the Kentucky Constables Association.