Hear from the candidates: judge-executive, county clerk and sheriff

Published 4:30 pm Monday, October 31, 2022

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The General Election is scheduled for Nov. 8, and in an effort to help inform the public, the Sun sent out a questionnaire designed to help the public know more about each candidate. Every reasonable attempt was made to reach all candidates. Every candidate who responded will be included in print and online. The answers have been edited for spelling and punctuation only.

Each candidate was sent the following questions in the same order:

1. Would you tell us about your background, please?

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2. Why are you the best candidate for this office?

3. What do you think is the most pressing issue affecting us in this election cycle?

4. How would you address this issue in your elected office?

Clark County Judge-Executive

Justin Charles (D)

1. A third-generation resident of Clark County. I have owned/operated Charles Electric; a company my father, Sherman Charles, started 50 years ago. I hold a Master Electricians License and for the past 15 years I have been providing service to the residents of Clark County.

2. I believe that I can fulfill the role of Judge-Executive by being a true public servant.  I want to bring respect, accountability and cooperation into this office.   As an elected official, there is a responsibility to the people you represent to be open, honest, trustworthy, and hard working for them at all times.  These are the core values that I have centered my business around as well as my life, and I can say with all certainty they will never change.

3. I feel there has been a strong divide in our community. A divide that is limiting our ability to move this county forward.  As I see it, we are all on the same team supporting the betterment of Clark County.

4. I want to see Clark County prosper, create opportunities for people to own small businesses, support industrial/residential development, while remaining focused on the landscape of what makes Clark County the small, connected community we all know and love. With the support of this community and elected officials, we can create a future all can be proud of. I do not have a planned agenda or any prior commitments if elected to office. Instead of voicing proposed plans, I ask the residents of Clark County, to trust in me to represent the ideas and suggestions that you have for the future.

Les Yates (R)

1. I am a veteran of the United States Air Force who holds a Baccalaureate degree in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University. I have served two years in the Kentucky General Assembly.  This experience will serve me well in managing the affairs of the Fiscal Court.

2. My life experiences in all phases of residential construction and building a business from the ground up, my service in the Air Force and my service in the Legislature all provides me with a unique skill set for this job.  In my business, I deal with multiple corporate organizations in negotiating contracts.  This will serve me well in handling the business side of the Judge Executive’s Office. My experience in building power plants will enable me to handle the issues of critically needed expanded infrastructure in our county. I also have significant experience in committee management.

3. The County and City of Winchester need to develop a long term strategic plan to create a environment to ensure that there is an abundance of good paying private sector jobs in our county. We have to work with Frankfort and our federal delegation on securing funds for roads and infrastructure.

4. I would use my experience in power facilities construction and small business management and operation to coordinate “partner meetings” to develop a strategic plan for infrastructure development focused on job retention and creation.  After developing a plan I would use my experience in the legislative process to facilitate a dialogue with various funding agencies to ensure that we can develop our infrastructure focused on jobs, while taking advantage of our location: interstates, rail and river access.

Clark County Clerk

Michelle Turner (D)

1. I am a lifelong resident of Clark Co, having being raised in Kiddville, graduated in 1982 from GRC ,and a member of First Baptist Church. I started out at the courthouse in 96 as the janitor, came to work in the County Clerks office as a deputy clerk in 2002 became clerk in 2015.

2. I love people, and i love to serve, which is what i think it takes to run an office. I started the Saturday hours of which I am very proud of and I work every one of them, I am a hands on Clerk never wanting anyone to do anything that i am not willing to do. You have to have a great staff to help you, of which I do and I am very proud of them.

3. I would say it is the election itself, Covid changed everything and we are finally getting back to normal. The election process is very secure and safe in Ky.and we do everything here in Clark Co to ensure the proper procedure is done correctly.

4. You have so many checks and balances that we do, and my election staff is well qualified to proceed processes  properly. We are going back to all precincts and one vote center in the General Election and that will help out with all the different ballot styles.

Clark County Sheriff

Berl Perdue, Jr. (R)

1. Graduate BS Degree Eastern KY University. 40 Years Law Enforcement experience in Clark County. 25 yrs Winchester PD. 16 yrs Clark Co Sheriff. President KY State FOP

President KY Sheriffs Assoc. 10 yrs on National Medal of Valor Board. Sheriff of the Year 2008. Twice State FOP Member and Leadership Award.

2. My many yrs of experience in Law Enforcement and leadership positions in all facets of Law Enforcement make me the best candidate. Not only in Law enforcement but my many yrs lobbying Bills on both the State and National level to better the working conditions of All LE officers. I’ve worked from the courthouse, to the State House to the Nations Capitol for Law Enforcement. Our team has developed the Clark Co Sheriffs Office into a recognized top Law Enforcement Agency. The Clark Co Sheriffs Office is one of only 20 out of 120 KY Sheriffs Offices to be Accredited in KY.

3. Inflation and the simple cost of living. This effects us all and all facets of our lives. Hiring and retention of deputies is crucial and is more difficult with budgets and inflation. Cost continue to rise and cuts into the budgets which are already tight.

4. By doing what we’ve done since I’ve been Sheriff the last 15+ years. We purchase on a need basis not a want basis. We’ve cut money down on line items and purchases. Also we have negotiated better deals on services. At times we’ve simply done without and made do with what we have available. Sometimes we adjust on the fly to unforeseen incidents to lessen the burden on our budget. However we have never cut services or our obligation to the citizens of Clark County. The job of Sheriff will always be foremost and will be accomplished.