Know your candidates
by Justin McGill, Executive Editor -- jmcgill@cadizrecord.com Franklin Clark, Reporter -- fclark@cadizrecord.com
Apr 28, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Editor’s note: This week and next, The Cadiz Record will feature information on candidates in contested races on the ballot for the Trigg County Primary Election set for May 18. SHERIFF

Randy Clark (Democrat, incumbent)

Randy Clark, 49, has been Sheriff of Trigg County since 1985 and is nearing the end of his sixth term. He said he hopes voters will allow him to serve a seventh.

“I want to help to continue to provide the safest community we can have,” Clark said.

Clark said training and professionalism within the Sheriff’s Office has been a top priority during his tenure.

“When I first took office, Sheriffs and Deputies were not required to have any training,” Clark said. “I fought to get training for my Deputies and myself and fought on the state Sheriff’s Board to get legislation passed so that training and certification are required.”

Clark said he’d like to see the office expand to allow for 24-hour coverage throughout the week, which his office currently does not provide.

“Trigg County has grown to the point that we really need that,” Clark said.

Keith Lancaster (Democrat)

Keith Lancaster, 40, has gained a great deal of law enforcement experience – at home and abroad – thanks to his 22 years of service in the United States Army. He hopes to utilize that experience as Trigg County’s next sheriff.

“I believe it’s time for a change in Trigg County,” Lancaster said. “I can’t say that I can stop crime or stop drugs, but I think I have a lot of skills that can be used to make things better for citizens here.”

Lancaster said one big change he’d like to research if he’s elected is the construction of a jail in Trigg County.

“We allot $260,000 a year to send prisoners to Christian County,” Lancaster said. “If we had a jail, it would put more people to work to build it and then to man it.”

Then, Lancaster said, the next priority would be to put an end to drug houses in the county.

“I figure those two things should keep me busy for four years,” Lancaster said.

Gordon Mitchell (Republican)

Gordon Mitchell, 46, is running for sheriff this year, his first time running for public office. Mitchell was in the restaurant business for 12 years, where he got experience in dealing with the public. Currently, he works at Fourshee Building Supply.

“I love this county, I was born and raised here,” Mitchell said. “And I want to serve it.”

One of the reasons Mitchell wants to be sheriff is to take control of what he said is a growing drug problem. He said he doesn’t want his 11-year-old daughter to be exposed to it.

He also said he wants people to know that the sheriff’s department, and law enforcement in general, are there to uphold the rights of the local citizens.

Ray Burnam (Republican)

Ray Burham, 43, a Trigg County native, is running for Trigg County Sheriff. It is the first political office he has run for. Burnam has been with the Kentucky State Police for 12 years and is a combat-decorated veteran of the United States Air Force.

Burnam also has a degree in criminal justice, having taken classes at Hopkinsvillle Community College and Murray State University.

The candidate said his main priorities, as far as potentially being sheriff is concerned, “are kids, drugs, thefts and unsolved murders.”

COUNTY ATTORNEY

H.B. Quinn

(Democrat, incumbent)

H.B. Quinn, 60, is in his 25th year as the Trigg County Attorney, and this will be his seventh time running for the office, and the first time since he first ran that he has had opposition. He held no other political office before running for Trigg County Attorney.

Quinn went to college and received his law degree from the University of Kentucky. He has served five four-year terms and one five-year term.

“I love my job, and I think I do a good job,” Quinn said. “I enjoy helping people.”

Randall Braboy

(Democrat)

Randall Braboy, 49, is running for Trigg County Attorney against H.B. Quinn, both Democrats. Braboy was born here and has a law office here.

He graduated from Trigg County High School before going to both Murray State University and the University of Kentucky. After serving in the Army for more than three years, where he served in Operation Desert Storm, he went to law school in Lancing, Mich., and was admitted to the bar in October 1995.

“I want to give voters a choice,” Braboy said. “To the best of my understanding, [Quinn] has run unopposed for about 25 years.”

DISTRICT 1 MAGISTRATE

Shannon Knight

(Democrat, incumbent)

Shannon Knight, 45, was appointed by the office of Governor Steve Beshear to fill the unexpired magisterial term of Doug Taylor in April 2009.

Knight has been politically active since the age of 15, when he worked on Terry McBrayer’s unsuccessful bid to earn the Democratic nomination for governor of Kentucky. Knight was a candidate for judge-executive in Trigg County in 2002.

Since then, Knight has served on the committee formed for the transition of Beshear and Lt. Gov. Daniel Mongiardo into office after the 2007 election. Knight said his connections in Frankfort make him a good candidate for the position.

“I understand how government works from the local level all the way to the federal level,” Knight said. “I know my way around Frankfort. A constituent can call about anything from a pothole to something in Frankfort, and after being involved in politics, I know exactly who to call.”

Knight said he’d like to continue to help improve the county’s infrastructure as well as look for ways to bring more cell phone towers into the area to reduce dead zones in tourist-friendly areas like Lake Barkley and Land Between the Lakes. He’d also like to increase water pipe capacity to industrial areas to entice more of those businesses to locate here.

Mike Wright (Democrat)

Mike Wright, 50, has been a teacher and a coach in the Trigg County School System for 29 years. He hopes to use his demonstrated leadership ability, as well as a love and passion for Trigg County, to the benefit of citizens here as a magistrate.

“I want to ensure that Trigg County stays a great place to live for future generations,” Wright said. “I think I know the people of Trigg County, and I’m a good listener and a good communicator.”

Wright said he also brings business experience after eight years of owning his own small business, Trophyland.

“I get a lot of satisfaction out of getting things done and helping people, and I’m a hard worker,” Wright said.

Wright’s grandfather, Early Perry, Sr., and father, Gene Wright, each served as magistrate in Trigg County, and Gene Wright was also a city councilman. That famiy history, Wright said, contributes to his desire to serve, but that desire also comes naturally.

“It’s a calling from within,” Wright said. “I felt an inner desire to be a part of county government and see if I can make a positive difference. Looking up to my dad as much as I do and watching him serve, he understood what people wanted better than anybody. He had a good relationship with people, and I want the same thing.”

DISTRICT 7 MAGISTRATE

Donnie Taylor

(Democrat, incumbent)

Donnie Tyler, 68, has been the Trigg County Magistrate for District 7 for 17 years, and this year will be the end of his fourth term. He is running for a fifth term. Though being a magistrate is his only political experience, he has had a backhoe service for decades, and worked at Johnson Controls when it first opened in the late 1960s.

“I’m running again because I still have work to do,” Tyler said. “The roads are better than they were when I first started, but there is always room for improvement.”

Tyler also talked some of his accomplishments, including how he worked on the ordinance to have the Trigg County Sheriff collect fire department dues, which he said has helped the fire department tremendously. He said due collection increased from 50 percent to 98 percent.

Mike Lane (Democrat)

Mike Lane, 38, is a Trigg County native that is running for the District 7 Trigg County magistrate position against Donnie Tyler, both Democrats. Lane does construction work but is also a licensed real estate agent and has been doing real estate appraisals for about six years.

“I would like to have some input as far as the growth of Trigg County is concerned,” said Lane.

The candidate said he would like to help clean up the county, as there is a lot of abandoned property in the area, especially around Lake Barkley, and he wants to see that addressed more often.
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