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Filing season opens for 2014 elections

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By Sarah Bennett

Filing season for the 2014 election opened Wednesday and just a few local candidates made the trip to the Hardin County Clerk’s Office in Elizabethtown.

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At the county level, four candidates filed Wednesday in three races. In addition, one candidate made a trip to Frankfort to file for a judicial position.

According to County Clerk Kenny Tabb, that number is low for the first filing day of an election season, which sees local, state and federal offices on the ballot.

Traditionally, this election boasts the second highest voter turnout for the county after the presidential race, Tabb said.

Dawn Lonneman Blair filed as a candidate Wednesday for Hardin Family Court Division 1 in the Ninth Judicial Circuit. Judge Pamela Addington currently serves the position, which is non-partisan.

Blair, who has practiced law in Hardin County for 13 years with Lonneman, Blair & Burnette in Elizabethtown, said she wants to improve efficiency in that division to reduce stress on families.

“I want to improve the time it takes for cases to be heard,” Blair stated in a news release. “Divorce and custody cases are never easy. We should do what we can to expedite cases and alleviate stress on families, most especially children.”

On Wednesday, Blair said she intends to run a positive campaign.

“I truly want to help the families of Hardin County,” she said.

Two candidates filed for the Democratic ticket in the county clerk race. Tabb is stepping down at the close of 2014 after serving four four-year terms.

Filing for the position were former Kentucky State Police Post 4 Trooper Bruce Reeves and Debbie Donnelly, who currently serves as chief operating officer at the clerk’s office.

Reeves, who works as a real estate agent and auctioneer for Gold Star Realty and Hodges Auction Co., said he has considered running for county clerk for several years and believes his experience with KSP will benefit the office.

Donnelly, who has worked at the clerk’s office for more than 35 years, said she’s not finished and wants to continue to provide the services it offers.

Former KSP Post 4 commander John Ward filed Wednesday for the Democratic ticket in the sheriff’s race. Like Tabb, Sheriff Charlie Williams is retiring at the end of 2014.

According to Ward, running for sheriff has been a dream of his for many years and he remembers discussing the goal with his father. Ward, who retired from KSP at the end of October, formally launched his campaign Wednesday night with an announcement in Upton.

“It’s just a way for me to continue to serve my community,” he said.

Jailer Danny Allen filed Wednesday for re-election on the Democratic ticket. He finishes his first term in December 2014.

If elected to a second term, Allen, who was recognized Tuesday by the Kentucky Association for Adult and Continuing Education, said he would like to continue overseeing upgrades in equipment at the jail and growth of its drug treatment and educational programs.

State Rep. C.B. Embry Jr., R-Morgantown, currently serves District 17 of the Kentucky House of Representatives, which covers a portion of Hardin County. Embry has filed for the Republican ticket in District 6 of the state Senate, which serves Ohio, Muhlenberg and Hopkins counties.

Sarah Bennett can be reached at 270-505-1750 or sbennett@thenewsenterprise.com.