Tribune-Courier General Manager
With the local 2014 political season beginning to take shape, it’s been the $64,000 question around coffee houses and on social media sites in Marshall County of late – Will Mike Miller seek another term as county judge executive?
Last week Miller answered the question, with a caveat, saying if his health holds up he will enter the 2014 race for an unprecedented 11th term.
The 68-year-old Miller has held the office since 1974 and is the longest-serving county judge executive in Kentucky’s history.
“Everything depends on my health between now and then, but at this point it’s my plan to be a candidate,” he said.
Miller said he has recently battled a series of painful episodes with kidney stones and has previously undergone treatment for other illnesses. But he’s been on the job otherwise and has kept a busy schedule of appointments both locally and throughout the state.
Miller said he has heard some of the rumblings about who might throw his or her hat into the race alongside him and said he welcomes the opposition.
“If there’s someone out there that wants to throw their name out there before the public, then I welcome it,” he said. “It’s the American way.”
The last time Miller ran opposed for county judge was in 2006 when challenger Michael Gordon ran on the Republican ticket.
Miller is currently under investigation by the attorney general’s office for his handling of unemployment payments to former dog warden Goldenrod Kirk.
Among the rumored candidates for Miller’s office are Terry Anderson, who is currently serving his second term as county commissioner, and Misti Drew, who was elected in 2010 as the county’s first woman and the only Republican to serve in the post. Both Drew and Anderson say they are running for re-election to the offices they now hold, however.
“I plan to run again (for the office of commissioner) and continue working to make progress in the county,” said Drew, who serves District 3.
Anderson says he will seek a third term as commissioner, serving District 2.
He has been in the Marshall County political arena since 1998, having served first as sheriff from 1998 until 2006.
Likewise, Bob Gold, who serves as commissioner in District 1, also said he plans to seek re-election in 2014.
In the past year Marshall County politics have taken a contentious tone, with Miller, Anderson and Drew at the center of a number of controversies including the Kirk matter.
This air of discontent has resulted in speculation that a number of newcomers will throw their hat into the political ring.
One such newcomer has already announced his intent to run for the office of Marshall County Commissioner in District 2 and will oppose Anderson.
Lifelong county resident Johnny Bowlin told the Tribune-Courier he plans to enter the race to “bring a new perspective” to the county governing body.
“My goal in running for county commissioner is to serve the people of Marshall County and to bring fresh ideas to our county government. If elected, I plan to work together with the Judge Executive and members of the Fiscal Court on matters that are important to the people of Marshall County,” said Bowlin.
Bowlin is the owner of a home repair business and is a 25-year member of Masonic Lodge #622. He is also a member of the Marshall County Elks Lodge #2707 where he served as past chairman of trustees.
“The Elks have been very supportive of various community causes throughout the years and I am proud to be associated with their positive work in the community,” Bowlin said.
The Marshall County GOP, which recently elected Alison Watson to serve as its chairperson after the death of longtime chairman Russ Randall in August, held a candidate training seminar on Monday evening.
Official filing for state and local races with the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance opens in November.
Candidates have until January 28 to submit the necessary documentation to get their names on the ballot for the primary on May 20.
Also up for re-election in the 2014 cycle are the sheriff, property valuation administrator, county court clerk, coroner, county attorney, constables, Commonwealth Circuit Judge and district judge’s offices.
Not up for re-election is the circuit court clerk’s office.
Carla Marshall, who now serves in that office, was re-elected to a six year term in 2012.