ELECTION 2010: Candidate list grows by 7

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By Robin Bass

Seven Spencer Countians announced their intentions to run for public office last week, adding their names to a growing list of candidates participating in the 2010 election. Candidates filed for the offices of judge executive, magistrate, jailer, county attorney and constable.


Republican David Hesse, 42, a senior auditor with Tichenor and Associates, said that it was the state of county affairs and the selection of judge executive candidates thus far that prompted him to file.

“I saw a divide in the community. We need to be pulling the community together,” said Hesse, “and from the people I saw running, I didn’t think they could do the job as well as I could.”

Hesse said that fiscal court, in particular, is in need of leadership that can bring magistrates together “so we can be a strong unit, instead of individuals.” Through his experience in the military, Hesse believes he has the leadership skill necessary to accomplish this task. He served four years active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps and then enlisted in the reserves. While in reserve duty, Hesse’s unit was re-activated and sent to serve in Desert Storm and Desert Shield.

In his role as a governmental auditor, Hesse has spent the last eight years conducting audits of fiscal courts, sheriff’s offices and non-profit organizations. His job was essentially to “make sure people are spending money the way they are supposed to,” said Hesse.

This will be Hesse’s first bid for public office.

Other candidates who have filed to run for judge executive are Bill Karrer (R) and Carmin Gaines (D).

Taylorsville Magistrate seat

Another newcomer to the political arena will be Republican Mike Moody, 45, who has filed to run for Taylorsville magistrate.

Moody said the main reason he decided to seek office was to ensure that the county’s money was being spent in the best possible way. In order to do that, he said magistrates should meet certain criteria.

“First, is that members of fiscal court represent their areas with no conflicts of interest,” said Moody. That means, magistrates should have no pet projects and no outside influences.

“The second is that members of fiscal court should make responsible, unbiased, and open-minded decisions for the county as a whole,” he said. Something Moody believes he can accomplish, in part, due to his work experience.

Moody has been the co-owner of Jerry Moody Auto Mart in Louisville for the last five years with his father and in management for another 20 years.

“During that time, I’ve learned a lot about making financial decisions,” said Moody. “I can use my work experiences to make good decisions for the community.”

In addition to his work experience, Moody graduated from Western Kentucky University in 1985 with a bachelor’s of science degree in industrial technology. He also completed additional course work at the University of Louisville in accounting, economics and finance.

Others who have filed their intent to run for Taylorsville Magistrate are Russ Cranmer (D) and Richard Travelstead (R).

Office of Jailer

Democrat Mike “Birdie” Blackburn, 48, has announced his plan to run for Spencer County Jailer after serving four terms as Elk Creek’s constable. Blackburn said his 16 years experience as a peace officer and recent months working with Jailer David Houghlin as a transport officer have prepared him for the office. He is also currently serving on the Spencer County Fair Board and a member of Taylorsville Masonic Lodge #210.

After learning that Houghlin would not seek a fourth term in office, Blackburn said it was the perfect time for him to step in.

“They need a change in Taylorsville,” said Blackburn.

The long time resident of Spencer County attended Taylorsville High School until his father passed away. Blackburn made the decision to leave school and take care of the family farm. He has been married to his wife, Vanessa, for 23 years and they have one son, Michael, 20. Blackburn is employed by Johnson Controls in Shelbyville and makes seats for Ford Motor Company.

Also seeking the office of jailer is Republican Rick Devine, 51.

“I think the community needs professional representation and I feel I can do that well,” said Devine, because of his 32 years as a public servant.

Devine’s long list of experience in emergency services began as a volunteer firefighter with the Fern Creek Fire Department. He served as a volunteer firefighter for 10 years. Around the same time, Devine began working as an emergency medical technician with Jefferson County EMS and stayed with the agency until 2000. Devine also acquired law enforcement experience while serving as a reserve deputy with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s office from 1995 until 2007. He is working on obtaining a justice administration degree at the University of Louisville.

This is not Devine’s first attempt at public office. He narrowly lost a race for coroner against Democrat Danny Hilbert in 2008.

Office of Constable

Spencer County has five constable districts and two of those offices saw filings this week.

Democrat Robert Lee Hance, 39, has filed to run for constable in Taylorsville District 1. Hance is employed by Wal-Mart. The seat is currently held by Don Smith.

Democrat Terry L. Herbstreith, 57, will be seeking the constable spot in Waterford District 2. Herbstreith is employed as a maintenance supervisor at St. Gabriel Church. The position is currently held by Darrell Herndon.

Constables are considered peace officers and possess the same law enforcement powers as sheriffs, coroners and jailers. They have broad arrest powers and the authority to serve court documents such as warrants and subpoenas.

Current Spencer County constables are: Don Smith (Dist. 1), Darrell Herndon (Dist. 2), Mike Blackburn (Dist. 3), Johnnie Manning (Dist. 4), and Larry Bentley (Dist. 5).

County attorney

Democrat Ruth Hollan, 55, will be seeking re-election as Spencer County Attorney in 2010. She has served as the county attorney for the past 8 years and will be seeking a third term in office.