Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has set Tuesday, December 18 as the date that voters in the six-counties that make up the 16th Kentucky Senatorial District will decide who will fill the unexpired senate term vacated by David Williams.
The seat was vacated by Williams, who had served in the Kentucky Senate since 1987, when he accepted an appointment from Beshear to a judgeship.
Williams is now serving out the unexpired term aof Circuit Court Judge for Clinton, Cumberland and Monroe Counties – the 40th Judicial Circuit.
The circuit judge’s seat became vacant in September when long-time Circuit Judge Eddie C. Lovelace died unexpectedly at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville.
(Lovelace’s death has been linked to tainted steroid injections he had received for pain treatment. A separate article involving the most recent developments in that case can be found elsewhere in this week’s Clinton County News).
Just whom the voters will be seeing when they view the ballots for the 16th Senate seat next month should have already been at least partially determined, but in a strange turn of events last week, even the selection of a Republican candidate was left in limbo.
Republican party leaders from each of the six counties in the 16th Senate District, in the form of party executive committees, were to meet this past Saturday in Monticello to select a candidate to appear on the ballot this December in the special election.
However, because of some questions as to whether or not the committee was properly selected in Monroe County, the caucus set for Saturday was cancelled by Republican Party Kentucky (RPK) chairman Steve Robertson the day before the caucus was to be held.
There has been no notice given to the Clinton County News at presstime regarding the date or location of a similar caucus that would be held by Democrats in the 16th District to select the candidate from that party.
According to a report that was published over the weekend written by Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc. writer Ronnie Ellis, the confusion in Monroe County centered around how various committee members had been named to both the county committee and the executive committee there as well as whether or not proper notification to the respective members had been made concerning Saturday’s scheduled caucus meeting
On Monday, the Clinton County News was notified that the Republican caucus would in fact be held this week and had been set for this Wednesday, November 14.
That meeting was slated to be held in Monticello at the Wayne Theatre, beginning at 6:30 p.m. central time.
Gregory also seeking GOP nomination
Currently there are at least two well-known Republicans from the area who are openly seeking the party nomination to appear on the ballot this December.
As reported in the Clinton County News two weeks ago, one of those candidates is Albany attorney David M. Cross, a long-time Republican party figure in the area.
Last week, the Clinton County News received a press release from Sara Beth Gregory, a Monticello attorney who is in her first term as a State Representative for the 52nd House District, stating that she would also be seeking the Republican nomination to run in the December 18 special election.
Gregory’s 52nd District House District is made up of Wayne, McCreary and a portion of Pulaski County.
For a brief time earlier this year, it appeared as if redistricting of the state would have put Clinton County in Gregory’s 52nd District, but a decision by the Kentucky Supreme Court threw out the redistricting plan, returning Clinton County to the 83rd House District.
In her press release announcing her desire to be named the Republican nominee, Gregory noted that she serves as Vice-Chair of the House Judiciary Committee and is a member of the Agriculture and Banking and Insurance Committees.
“I want to thank the people of the McCreary, Wayne, and Pulaski counties for their support and for the privilege of serving them in Frankfort,” Gregory said. “I am seeking the nomination for State Senate because I want to continue working to bring new jobs and development to this region, to fight the problem of drug abuse, and to protect the values of the people who live here. I have spoken with people throughout the 16th District and received overwhelming encouragement to pursue this opportunity to serve in a new arena.”
Gregory was reelected to the House to represent the 53rd district for a second term last week in the November 6 General Election. She ran unopposed for that seat in the general election.
Gregory graduated from the University of Kentucky with a bachelor of arts in Political Science. She obtained her law degree from the University of Kentucky College of Law and began her legal career as a law clerk for the Hon. Eugene E. Siler, Jr. of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She currently works as an attorney in Monticello.
Gregory is a member of the First Baptist Church of Monticello and serves on the Wayne County Fair Board and full board of the Center for Rural Development. She is also a member of the Republican Party of Kentucky Executive Committee.
Regarding the December 18 special election for the vacant senate seat, the decision to select that date came from it being one of the first dates available following last week’s November 6 general election.
Kentucky election laws mandate that voting machines must remain locked for 30 days following an election.
Alison Lundergan Grimes, Kentucky’s Secretary of State and the state’s chief election officials, certified the writ issued by Gov. Beshear setting the date for the special election to fill the senate seat vacancy.
The deadline for Republican and Democratic candidates nominated by their party and independent candidates to file their certificates and petitions with the Secretary of State is Tuesday, November 20, 2012, at 4:00 p.m., EST. (3:00 p.m. Central).