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Yesterday (Jan. 31) was the deadline for candidates to file for May 22 Primary Election.
Well, sort of. The deadline for state legislative and Congressional races has been pushed back to 4 p.m. Feb. 7. In light of the legal challenge filed against the Kentucky House redistricting plan, that extra week may not be enough time.
That said, Marion County voters will have plenty to think about when they go to the polls this year, with elections on the local, state and national levels.
The legal challenge to the House redistricting plan could end up affecting Marion County. In the plan signed into law, the 24th District would become LaRue, Marion and Washington counties.
Marion County's district is not one of the problem areas in the plan, but problems certainly exist. (To understand how awkward some districts look, visit the Herald-Leader's Bluegrass Politics blog here: http://bluegrasspolitics.bloginky.com/2012/01/31/judge-issues-restrainin....)
An alternative plan filed the day before the lawsuit would keep the 24th District similar to what it today — Casey and Marion counties and part of Pulaski County. Even if the courts decide that the House redistricting plan has to be redone, that doesn't mean the Republican alternative plan would be adopted. We'll just have to wait and see how this turns out.
Nevertheless, two candidates have filed to run in the 24th District as of Jan. 31. Democratic incumbent State Rep. Terry Mills and former Lebanon city councilman Bill Pickerill, a Republican, are set to square off in the fall, unless someone else files between now and Feb. 7.
Marion County's fate is also undecided as far as Congressional redistricting. The proposals I've seen have Marion County either staying in the Second Congressional District or moving into the Sixth Congressional District.
With that in mind, here are the candidates who have filed to run in those respective Congressional races.
Republican incumbent Congressman Brett Guthrie has filed to run again the Second District. David L. Williams (not the Senate President) has filed to run as a Democrat. Given how little effort Williams has put into previous races, for all practical purposes, Guthrie is running uncontested.
In the Sixth Congressional District, incumbent Democratic Congressman Ben Chandler has filed to run again. Three Republicans — Garland “Andy” Barr, Patrick J. Kelly II and Curtis Kenimer — and write-in candidate Randolph S. Vance have filed to run as well. Why Vance didn't file as an independent, I don't understand.
The 11th Judicial District (which includes Green, Marion, Taylor and Washington counties) will likely have a new Commonwealth's Attorney. Shelly Sprague Miller, a Democrat from Campbellsville, is the only candidate registered to run, according to the Kentucky Secretary of State's website. The current Commonwealth's Attorney, Tom Cocanougher, is not listed as a candidate.
Marion County voters will also make decisions in city and school board races, but since those are non-partisan elections, those candidate have until Aug. 14 to register.