Meet the candidates: the county races

Published 5:26 pm Thursday, May 12, 2022

Here is part one of the responses that the Sun received from candidates in contested primary races. The responses below are from candidates in county races that replied to the Sun’s email survey. In the interest of fairness and space, all candidates answers were kept to a minimum character limit. In addition, in response to reader feedback we have included the list of other candidates running but who did not chose to respond to our survey. Part two will cover the city and state races and will be posted online tomorrow.

Greg Elkins (Republican)
Tell us about your background.
I am serving in my second term as a Clark County Magistrate, and I am the CEO of a successful private company. I served six years in the Kentucky National Guard. I met my wife of 35 years, Kim Elkins while attending Morehead State University.
Why are you the best candidate for this office?
Serving as a magistrate allows me to bring knowledge and experience of our local government to this office. As a CEO in the private sector, I have 30 years experience building businesses, creating jobs, managing large budgets and numerous employees. I have negotiated agreements with multiple economic development boards, worked with state and local governments throughout the commonwealth and I have the relationships in Frankfort to move Clark County forward. As your judge-executive I will be fiscally responsible while still providing outstanding services.
What do you think is the most pressing issue effecting us in this election cycle?
While there are many issues affecting us, probably the most pressing issue that the judge-executive can impact is the need for improved and increased infrastructure in the county. Broadband, sanitary sewer, storm water Issues and county roads are some of the most pressing infrastructure issues.
How would you address this issue in your elected office?
As your judge-executive, I will focus on the continued development of broadband service to areas of Clark County that are currently without, work to provide sanitary sewer services to those locations that are in desperate need, and I will direct funds to begin addressing storm water issues that have plagued Clark County for years. Clark County recently received $7 million in ARPA funds from the federal government. These funds were distributed with the intention of infrastructure enhancement and development. Using these funds as intended will promote much needed growth for our county.

Other Republicans running for judge-executive: Robert Gayheart and Les Yates.

Vaché L. King (Democrat)

Tell us about your background.
A native of Lexington, KY; however, has resided in Winchester for the last 10 years. I’m the wife of Dee King and together we have three children, DeAnte (Samesha), Dariel, and Damion. I am also the proud grandmother of three beautiful little ladies, Karter, Kennedy, and Kerrington. Vache has worked in diverse industries including government, manufacturing/production, healthcare, and banking.
Why are you the best candidate for this office?
Communication of strategic initiatives is more than speaking to what strategic pathway one should take. It involves collecting the visions of executive leadership across the spectrum of any organization/company, along with conducting research and analysis of said visions. Once research and analysis has been completed, one must discuss and negotiate which vision makes sense to accomplish the overarching objectives of the organization/company.
What do you think is the most pressing issue effecting us in this election cycle?
One of our pressing challenges in this community that I’ll speak on is around substance abuse.
According to the 2020 Kentucky Overdose Fatality Report, substance misuse, particularly the diversion and abuse of prescription drugs and substances such as illicit fentanyl, heroin, and methamphetamine, remains one of the most critical public health and safety issues facing Kentucky.
How would you address this issue in your elected office?
This epidemic of substance abuse plaguing our community is going to take the hands of the community. From county, city government, to the experts in the field with boots on the ground, to the current agencies supporting this population, to school officials, family members and those suffering to have a seat at the table discussing and implementing the necessary plans.

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Other Democrats running for judge-executive: Justin Patrick Charles.

Clark County Magistrate

Steven Caudill (Republican-District 1)
Tell us about your background.
Born in Clark Co. 1981 G.R.C. graduate. U.S. Army Veteran. Served with the First Calvary Division. Graduate of Eastern Ky. School of Law Enforcement. Winchester Police Dept. Retired Detective. Owner of Daniel Boone of Kentucky LLC. Married to Stephanie Caudill for 29 yrs.
Why are you the best candidate for this office?
I bring a career background of public service. I have strong community trust. I have made deep relationships, well respected. My service record is beyond reproach. I have a passion to help others.
I follow through all commitments. I surround myself with successful, positive people. I can be counted on. I will always do what’s right. I am a leader, not a follower. I have always lived life believing if you want to see positive change, always be a part of a solution, not a problem. My word, and my handshake are my honor. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
What do you think is the most pressing issue effecting us in this election cycle?
I got out very early in my election meeting with the people door to door, the most often response from the community I heard often was a concern there was a divided court, and we needed unity.
How would you address this issue in your elected office?
The solution is very simple. There is a field of brilliant candidates, I believe the voters have researched and will vote for the changes they want to see our community to be!

David Konstantopoulos (Republican-1st District)
Tell us about your background.
For the past 16 years I have owned and operated a small business here in Clark County. My wife, Carrie, is a teacher at Strode Station Elementary and I have two children. I am a life-long conservative Republican. I believe in fiscal responsibility, strong family values and common-sense decision making.
Why are you the best candidate for this office?
I am the current elected Magistrate for District 1 and am seeking my third term in office. I offer experience, knowledge and a proven record of results. I enjoy serving and helping my neighbors with issues that arise. During my tenure, we have cut taxes, voted no against industrial solar, enhanced county services and promoted conservative values. Projects are underway to fix up our parks, expand broadband into rural areas and improve infrastructure throughout Clark County. I am easily accessible by cell phone and email and I help dozens of neighbors each year solve problems and address their concerns. Voters in District 1 know they can count on me to work hard to represent them.
What do you think is the most pressing issue effecting us in this election cycle?
Infrastructure projects currently in process are of vital importance. Expanding sanitary sewer to Western Clark County, widening of US-60, completion of by-pass extension and broadband internet accessibility are all items to be completed or addressed during the next 4 years. These projects are important to the growth and vitality of our community.
How would you address this issue in your elected office?
I will continue using my state and federal relationships I have developed to lobby for funding for our county. Decision making on how to spend ARPA funds will be important; I would like to only use ARPA funds on infrastructure projects that will have a long term impact on the county and not on projects that are going to cost taxpayers on an annual basis. I hope to continue facilitating the broadband expansion project until its completion. I currently serve on the regional broadband committee and I am also leading, along with Magistrate Davis, negotiations with current broadband providers to see this project through completion. Finally, I will continue protecting our farmland from industrial solar.

Ernest Pasley (Republican-District 2)

Tell us about your background.
I am a Christian conservative Republican, 6th generation Clark Countian on both sides of my family, I am a commissioner on the ECCWD board and a member of Grace Baptist Church. I am active in the local and state Republican parties. I love Clark County and want it preserved for future generations.
Why are you the best candidate for this office?
I am the only conservative, active Republican, running in the primary. I have relationships and will work with the elected local and state conservatives. I will do more than attend 2 monthly meetings, I will use my contacts and relationships statewide to help our county. I will complete recommended state training so I serve Clark County with knowledge. I will continue to look for ways to lower taxes. I will not cast a vote to spend county tax dollars on charity or philanthropy. My focus will be on infrastructure and county employee wages. I will be a voice for all of District 2.
What do you think is the most pressing issue effecting us in this election cycle?
Conservative spending of ARPA funds. We need a fiscal court that can work together to get projects accomplished with this historic money. It is imperative we spend these funds on infrastructure to preserve our county. We need working sewers, clean water, internet and road improvements.
How would you address this issue in your elected office?
I will only support spending ARPA funds on infrastructure. I will not cast a vote for Clark County tax dollars or ARPA funds to be spent on non-essentials or charitable giving. It’s not the county government’s role to tax the citizens and hand out its money to charity and non-essentials. I encourage Clark Countians to go to the county website, view the fiscal court minutes, and see the motions made for spending of these funds in recent meetings. The county needs working sewers, clean water, internet and improved roads. I will work with other elected conservatives to see this happen.

Other Republicans running for the seat: Travis Thompson

Larry Hall (Republican-District 3)
Tell us about your background.
I am Larry Hall, I was born and raised in Clark County. I am a Kentucky licensed auctioneer and currently hold a seat on the board of directors for Rolling Thunder KY number 5. I am a huge supporter of veterans. I retired two years ago after 37 years with UPS Freight.
Why are you the best candidate for this office?
I am dedicated, dependable, hard working and honest. I believe that we need transparency in our fiscal court. I want the citizens of District 3 to know that they will have a magistrate in me that will be accessible at any time and will stand up for their concerns and work hard for them. I am not the kind of person that just follows the crowd. If elected, I will not vote for or against anything that is not in the best interest for the citizens of east Clark County or for everyone in Clark County.
What do you think is the most pressing issue effecting us in this election cycle?
I believe we need to return the fiscal court back to the people that put us into office so that their voices and concerns are heard, because the fiscal court does belong to the citizens of the county.
How would you address this issue in your elected office?
If elected by the people in District 3, the citizens will know my name and have my phone number and email address so they can effectively communicate their issues to me at any given time.

Other Republicans running for the seat: Steve Craycraft and Joe Graham. 

Tom Korb (Republican-District 4)
Tell us about your background.
My wife and I have been married 37 years. We are both conservative republicans. We are both 1983 graduates of George Rogers Clark. We met at Tommy’s roller skating rink, where our family owned this business for several years. We were married right out of high school and have 2 children, Brittany Walls attending college and Thomas Korb III, who works at WMU, also graduates of GRC.
Why are you the best candidate for this office?
I have already been in the public service business my entire life. This is what we do in the restaurant/hospitality business: we dedicate our lives to the service of others. We are regular people who have worked extremely hard to have a successful business and understand the value of a hard earned dollar. My business prepares you to work with the public as a servant to the people.
What do you think is the most pressing issue effecting us in this election cycle?
Infrastructure, lack of medium income house and lack of business coming to and staying in Clark county. One can’t be fixed without the other. The business owners of Clark County all need workers, just look at the help wanted signs from one end to the other. We need potential workers to move into our county so we can survive, but they have nowhere to live because the infrastructure is not in the place for growth.
How would you address this issue in your elected office?
I don’t believe anyone in Clark County wants us to be Lexington, or we would just move there. I have witnessed first hand our growth throughout the years, sometimes slowly and painfully. I hear a lot of people complaining about the problems we face as a community. I think we should be positive and work from our strengths.

Other Republicans running for the seat: Dr. Mark Miller.

Chris M. Davis (Republican-District 5)
Tell us about your background.
I live in Winchester with my wife Heather and our children, Holden and Leighton. I graduated from Centre College and the U.K. College of Law. As an attorney for over 21 years, I spent eight years as a prosecutor, but I now work as a land agent in the gas industry.
Why are you the best candidate for this office?
As a magistrate on the Clark Fiscal Court, I have a proven record of accomplishments. We cut county taxes for three straight years, repaired long-neglected roads, and improved the pay and equipment of our county fire department. I led the effort to create a sanitary sewer district to benefit rural Clark County by allowing for aging package plants to be retired. On the the EMS committee, I helped re-negotiate the joint agreement with the City. I supported the expansion of high-speed internet into rural Clark County and I now serve on the committee to negotiate a partnership with AT&T.
What do you think is the most pressing issue effecting us in this election cycle? (300 characters or less)
The most pressing issue facing us is accommodating growth in a responsible manner, but doing so in a way that is responsive to the needs of our citizen. Clark County faces a shortage of affordable housing. We must set the stage for growth in a way that creates opportunities for our citizens.
How would you address this issue in your elected office?
Addressing the issue of growth requires us to also address several areas. First, we have to continue to make necessary investments in infrastructure to accommodate this growth. We must secure funding to finish the sanitary sewer project on Rockwell Road and also complete the expansion of broadband internet into rural Clark County. In the upcoming comprehensive plan, we need to make sure that the plan takes into account the very real need for additional housing options for Clark Countians. Finally, I will work to build a new county fire station in western Clark County.

David Stambaugh II (Republican-District 5)
Tell us about your background.
I am 40 years old and a Clark County resident for 22 years. I am married to Samantha Stambaugh, and we have 3 wonderful boys, Trey 16, Evan 13, and Liam 2. I also started a small business food truck with my best friend Brian Crump called BS BBQ.
Why are you the best candidate for this office?
I am a businessman, husband, and father like many of you who are fed up with downtown Politicians running our county. I’ve talked with hundreds of people across this county, and they all say the same thing. Everyone is just sick of our county being held back while other counties continue to grow. We want more restaurants and outlet stores up and down our bypasses and more places for our kids to go and do things. I want this Magistrate position to be more than what it is currently. I will always do what’s right for Clark County and I will be your voice and represent all the people.
What do you think is the most pressing issue effecting us in this election cycle?
The big thing that stands out to me has to be our fiscal court. It’s so unwelcoming and divided. We have several leaders of the court that just have so much arrogance to them and can’t meet in the middle on issues that it just discourages people from attending or watching online.
How would you address this issue in your elected office?
Well, I look at it as easy steps to improve our court. Most importantly we need fresh faces with fresh ideas. We have a lot of great candidates this primary. We need to encourage more attendance from our community and really advertise our court so more people will want to know what goes on in our fiscal court. I would also like to start a program with the schools where teachers can bring a class in for the meetings so our children can learn more about our great county. We can do so much more, and we should do more.