The McCreary County Record

Local News

January 30, 2013

Early voting gets underway

Upchurch, Shearer face off February 12

WHITLEY CITY —   Local election officials are gearing up for the special election to determine who will fill Sara Beth Gregory’s former seat in the Kentucky House of Representatives.

    Having had to cancel last Friday’s inspection of voting machines due to icy weather, the McCreary County Board of Elections held the inspection yesterday morning in preparation of the February 12 election.

    While mail-in ballots have been available for a few days, in-house voting at the McCreary County Clerk’s Office also got underway yesterday.

    With just 10 percent of McCreary voters turning out for the December 18 special election in which Gregory won the 16th Senate District seat vacated by now-Circuit Judge David Williams, County Clerk Eric Haynes is predicting an even lighter turnout for this election.

    The 52nd House District is comprised of McCreary and Wayne counties in addition to six Pulaski precincts. Both candidates hail from Wayne County.

    Former Representative Ken Upchurch, 43, held the House seat for 12 years (beginning in 1999) before giving it up in an unsuccessful bid to become Wayne County Judge-Executive. During his tenure as state representative, the Republican served as Minority Whip (2003-06) and vice chaired the House Committee on Agriculture and Small Business.

    The Democrat nominee is political newcomer Harvey Shearer, 52, of Mill Springs. An equipment operator, Shearer has been employed by Conley Gregory Construction for the past 15 years. He is also a small business owner, operating a boat storage near his home. Shearer has served on the Wayne County Fair Board for 20 years.

    Each election, regardless of the number of races on the ballot, costs McCreary taxpayers around $20,000. Including the senate race and an alcohol referendum last August, this house race will be the third special election for McCreary voters during this fiscal year.

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