A Guston man, who professes a deep love for his home county, has been appointed as Meade County judge-executive to complete the unexpired term of Gerry Lynn, who died Sept. 6.

Leslie Stith, 61,, a retired agriculture industry representative and farmer, has been appointed to fill the vacancy by Gov. Andy Beshear.

A Democrat, Stith was his party’s nominee in 2016 for the 5th District state Senate seat. Although he lost by a 2-1 margin in the six-county district to Republican Steve Meredith, Stith did carry Meade County.

The next election for judge-executive and other countywide offices is in 2022. Stith said he told Beshear his interest in being a candidate will depend on his enjoyment of the job.

“I also told Gov. Beshear that he won’t find another person who loves Meade County more,” Stith said.

Stith praised Lynn for his devotion and service to the county.

“I have some big shoes to fill,” Stith said. “He did a great job.”

Stith said party registration matters to some people. As an appointed Democrat replacing an elected Republican in office, he expects some to see it as an issue but believes partisanship should not be a barrier at the local level.

“We’re all Team Meade County and we’ve got to do what’s right for Meade County,” he said.

Stith received word of his appointment Wednesday and took the oath of office Thursday from Judge Bruce Butler.

Ben Sheroan can be reached at 270-505-1764 or bsheroan@thenewsenterprise.com.

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