Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

December 5, 2013

Blevins to run for judge-exec in Rowan

FRANKFORT — The Kentucky Senate might lose another Democrat as Sen. Walter “Doc” Blevins of Morehead filed to run for Rowan County Judge/Executive on Thursday.

Blevins, 63, a dentist and graduate of Morehead State University, has served in the General Assembly since 1982 when he was first elected to the House and in the Senate since 1992.

Republicans control the upper chamber with 23 members to Democrats’ 13 with one vacancy and one independent who caucuses with Republicans.

Blevins earlier toyed with the idea of not seeking re-election to the Senate but when new legislative maps were drawn this year, Blevins was placed in a largely Democratic district covering his home Rowan County and Lewis, Mason, Fleming, Nicholas, Robertson, Bourbon and Harrison counties.

Blevins filed papers with the Rowan County clerk to run for judge-executive. Current Judge/Executive Jim Nickell isn’t seeking re-election. Blevins is the fourth candidate to file so far, joining Democrats Harry T. Clark, Paul Caskey and Jerry Alderman, the current deputy judge-executive. Blevins said he expects at least one more Democratic candidate to join the field.

Blevins said it is “an opportune time” to run and if he wins he can focus on one county rather than the larger, eight-county 27th Senate district which he now represents.

“It’s a big district and it requires time and I can spend more time with my wife and family,” Blevins said. “I’m excited because it’s another opportunity to take care of the people of Rowan County.”

Blevins conceded the higher salary of a judge/executive could boost his retirement but he said he was influenced more by his family and by the frustrations of serving in the minority in the state Senate.

“That’s a big thing, a big part of it,” said Blevins of being in the minority. “It’s tough being in the minority and our numbers keep going down.”

Blevins’ Senate seat isn’t on the ballot until 2016, so he can retain the seat while he runs for Rowan County judge-executive. He said he’s received a lot of encouragement and his wide name recognition after appearing on the ballot for so many years should give him an advantage in a crowded field.

But he said he might run for re-election to the Senate should he lose the local race, and he conceded he’ll miss his time in the legislature if he wins the local election.

“I’ll miss it. It’s been a big part of my life — I’ve spent half my adult life in the legislature,” Blevins said. “But it’s just an opportune time to change directions.”

Senate Minority Leader R.J. Palmer, D-Winchester, was aware Blevins was considering the local race and so was not surprised Thursday.

“We wish him well and wish him luck in that election,” Palmer said. He said Blevins’ decision doesn’t pose a great risk to his minority Democrats because of the nature of the new district.

“It’s an off-year election for Doc’s seat, so if he were to win (the Rowan County race, we’d have to have a special election and that district should be to our advantage.”

Palmer said he’s already heard from Democrats in the district who indicated an interest in running for Blevins’ seat because of rumors Blevins might make the judge’s race.

“Obviously, those who’ve expressed interest about it will now be even more interested,” he said. He declined to name those who had discussed the seat with him.

In the meantime, Blevins said he’ll continue to represent all the counties in his district.

“I’m still going to be a good Senator during my (remaining) time,” Blevins said. “I’m not going to focus on just one county. I want to be the best Senator I can be to the entire district for whatever time I’m still there.”

RONNIEā€ˆELLIS writes for CNHI News Service and is based in Frankfort. Reach him at rellis@cnhi.com. Follow CNHI News Service stories on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cnhifrankfort.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 0728bank5.jpg Gate City landmark demolished

    The historic Catlettsburg National Bank Building was being taken down after the front dormer window collapsed on Sunday.

    July 28, 2014 4 Photos

  • Local counties see drop in unemployment

    Boyd County was one of 117 counties that saw a decrease in its unemployment rate between June 2013 and June 2014.
     

    July 27, 2014

  • 0726bigboy.JPG Big Boy to open Aug. 11

    The long-awaited Frisch’s Big Boy restaurant will open Aug. 11, and when it does it will be business as usual from day one: the eatery will open its doors to the early breakfast crowd at 6:30.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • SOAR meeting at MSU Aug. 6

    Morehead State University and St. Claire Regional Medical Center will present Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers as part of a "Health Impact Series" under the new Shaping Our Appalachian Region initiative.
     

    July 27, 2014

  • MSU moving business admin. program online

    Morehead State University’s School of Business Administration has announced its bachelor of business administration degree in computer information systems has moved totally online beginning the fall 2014 semester.
     

    July 27, 2014

  • Thefts, fraud reported to APD

    The following information was taken from Ashland Police Department reports:
     

    July 27, 2014

  • Raceland couple join Peace Corps

    A couple from Raceland will travel to the Republic of Botswana on Aug. 10 to begin training as volunteers in the Peace Corps.

    July 27, 2014

  • Missing Boyd inmate returns to jail

    The Boyd County inmate who walked away from a work detail on Saturday turned himself back in to the Boyd County Detention Center on Sunday.

    July 27, 2014

  • 0728MoreheadMusic_1457.jpg Hills alive with Old Time Music

    The hills surrounding Morehead were alive again this weekend with the sounds of fiddles, banjos and deep Appalachian voices that help keep old time mountain music alive in a modern world.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bill Clinton coming to eastern Kentucky to stump for Grimes

    By RONNIE ELLIS
    CNHI News Service

    GLASGOW — Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes is again calling in the “Big Dog” in her quest to unseat five-term Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.

    July 27, 2014