MEET THE CANDIDATES: 3 seek Winchester mayor seat

Published 3:10 pm Thursday, May 17, 2018

To see the full Meet the Candidates special section, click here. 

Ed Burtner, 66

Education: High school graduate 1969. Earned bachelor of arts in 1974 and Master of public administration in 1976 from University of Tennessee.

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Professional background: Municipal administration

Occupation: Mayor

Political experience: Mayor of Winchester since January 2007

Civic involvement: Marine Corps League. Participate in numerous community and volunteer activities.


Billy Ray Flinchum, 56

Education: Studied industrial electronics at South East Tech, post-secondary education and high school diploma, Lexington with business administration.

Professional background: Licensed minister with The Church of God for 35 years; Advocate of FACEES of the Bluegrass (advocate for children with any and all handicap). Advocate for drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Husband, father, grandfather, pastor and business owner.

Occupation: Retail and wholesales business owner, entrepreneur.

Political experience: First-time candidate.

Civic involvement: Member of Chamber of Commerce. Pastor of The Church of God. Evangelist.


Ralph Harrison, 66

Education: GED and two years of HVAC at community college in Lexington

Professional background: Car sales and towing company

Occupation: Self-employed

Political experience: Self-study on political issues since 2008

Civic involvement: Helpful to all people in the community.



What will be your top priority if elected to office?

EB: My top priority would be to address neighborhood and community issues such as drugs, dilapidated housing and unsightly conditions. That includes our residential areas and downtown area. An important part of that would be to address the challenges our families face.

BF: To give the best of myself to the city I love and be a servant to both the rich and poor. To expedite the process of making Winchester a welcomed business friendly community. To aid those in need of refuge from substances that are controlling them and causing difficulties.

RH: Helping with decisions on our drug problem in Winchester. Jobs for our people. I want to see this city grow.

What makes you the best

candidate for the job?

EB: The voters will decide that. I can only offer as I have in every past election: to work as hard as I can and do my best.

BF: I  don’t know every  detail of this office, but  I know I can do the job through Christ who strengthens me. I am a born leader and called by challenges to perform my best knowing I am and will be accountable.

RH: I have vision for the town to make it a better place to live and prosper.

What professional or

political accomplishments

are you most proud of?

EB: Individual pride is not a good thing. I am proud of our community for their hard to improve and progress for the greater good. Progress and improvement does not occur through one person but rather by the collective efforts of all working together for the common good.

BF: I have not had the opportunity to accomplish a professional task as of yet.

RH: Did not provide an answer.

What is the biggest challenge our community faces? How would you address it?

EB: Our biggest challenge is to achieve true community collaboration and cooperation to address the needs of our families and neighborhoods. To do so will require an all-hands approach to deal with issues such as drugs, neighborhood deterioration and community re-investment.

BF: I am almost sure the answer is the controlled substance abuse. To implement and support all agencies who are trying to stop the widespread of drug availability. Love the addict not the drug.

RH: Did not provide an answer.

Other comments?

EB: Thank you to the voters of Winchester for your support. I would ask for you support on May 22. I would urge all that are registered to vote to do so. Thank you for the opportunity to participate in this survey.

BF: I have been in Winchester all my life with my family. I love my hometown and am very proud to be a part of its ever-changing challenges. I have served Winchester myself in business for more than 30 years, and have had the opportunity to raise my family here.

RH: I’m not a politician, but I use common-sense approach to all issues. I’m saying to you, I will do my very best at all issues for the best outcome for Winchester. If elected, I’ll be there for all the people. Thank you.