New faces lead the way

A crowded field of candidates was narrowed greatly Tuesday evening. Over 7,600 votes were cast in Knox County for the 2018 Primary Election, deciding some races now and sending others on to the General Election in November.

With incumbent Judge-Executive J.M. Hall not seeking re-election, for Republican candidates it was a four-way race, with former Knox County Emergency Management Director and current Solid Waste Coordinator Mike Mitchell coming out on top, receiving 39.55% of the vote, holding off challengers Mike Eversole, Charles Sprinkles and Jeffrey Todd Phipps. For Democrats, it was a two-way race that saw Michael L. Warren beat out Bob Frederick with 57.83% of the vote, sending Warren to face Mitchell in the General Election in November.

Twenty-year incumbent County Clerk Mike Corey beat out challenger Jared Franklin with 63.92% of the vote, and will go on to serve another term.

First-term veteran Sheriff Mike Smith bested his Republican challenger, Derek R. Eubanks, with 72.85% of the vote. He will go on to face Democrat Dennis Rogers in November. Rogers was unopposed in the Primary Election.

Jailer Mary S. Hammons won the Republican nomination with 48.15% of the vote, beating out challengers Bob Corey and Jerry Baker. Hammons will face independent challenger C.J. Trent in November as she seeks a third term as Jailer.

Coroner Mike Blevins handily won a fourth term as Coroner with 83.98% of the vote, holding off challenger Sonny Hayes.

With three magistrates not seeking re-election, it was anyone’s game as Carson Gilbert (Dist. 1), Jason Lake (Dist. 4), and Guilio Cima (Dist. 5) abstained from running for another term. In District 1, Roger Mills walked away with 46.71% of the vote, besting challengers Sam Hamlin, Gentry Gibson, Chris Wagers, Richard “Birddog” Jones, Billy Parks, Allen Medlin and Jerry Smith. There was no Democrat challenger in District 1, so Mills will go on to become the new Magistrate effective in January 2019. The race for Constable in District 1 was unopposed.

Incumbent District 2 Magistrate Stacey Roark held off a slate of challengers with 24.56% of the vote, beating out Billy Howard, Steve Smith, Curt Lawson, John Patterson, Josh Trosper, Larry Mills and Brian Kilgore.

The race for Constable in District 2 was decided for incumbent Reed Murphy, who will remain Constable having received 50.45% of the vote.

Incumbent Jerry “Rabbit” Cox held on to his Republican nomination as District 3 Magistrate with 42.30% of the vote, beating out Denny Leddington, Danny Jordan, and Jimmy Walters. He will go on to face Democrat challenger Tony Golden in November, who received 44.85% of the vote, defeating William “Tigger” Logan and George Hamilton. The Constable race for District 3 was unopposed.

In District 4, Republican Jason Smith snagged the win with 47.50% of the vote, and will go on to face a former District 4 Magistrate, Democrat Doyle Gibson, who narrowly won with 51.65% of the vote, edging out challenger John Ferguson. The Constable race was decided for Republican James Miller, who received 59.66% of the vote and will be unopposed in November. Miller’s challenger was the late Willie Smith, who died in early April.

The Republican race for District 5 Magistrate was between four newcomers, with Darryl Baker winning with 38.05% of the vote, beating challengers Jesse Jones, Herb Wells and David Valentine. Because there is no Democrat opposition in November, Baker will go on to serve as the new Magistrate for District 5. Likewise, a new Constable was elected as Shawn Rogers edged out the win with 52.33% of the vote over incumbent Brandon Bolton.

In the 86th District State Representative election, Jim Stewart held on to the Republican nomination with 69.76% of the vote, holding off challenger Don Rose. Stewart will go on to face Democrat challenger Debra Payne in November.

In the Republican race for U.S. Representative for the 5th District, long-serving Congressman Harold “Hal” Rogers handily defeated challenger Gerardo Serrano with 84.50% of the vote in Knox County. Rogers will face Kenneth S. Stepp in November, who bested his Democrat challenger Scott Sykes with 58.20% of the vote.

In the nonpartisan race for Justice of the Supreme Court, Debra Hembree Lambert easily defeated challengers Dan Ballou and David Tapp with 58.03% of the vote.

For Corbin city races, see this story at