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Three incumbent sheriffs across Tri-State lose primary election in Kentucky

Four counties will elect new sheriffs in November
Three incumbent sheriffs across Tri-State lose primary election in Kentucky
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 7:30 PM CDT
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OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - Three incumbent sheriffs lost their primary elections, and four new sheriffs will take office in January.

Two Republican candidates filed for sheriff in both Ohio and Daviess County, but no Democrats, meaning Adam Wright of Ohio County and Brad Youngman of Daviess County will most likely run unopposed in November’s general election.

A Democratic or third-party candidate can still file as a write-in candidate, but the deadline to have a candidate’s name printed onto the ballot has passed.

Several Kentucky County Clerks says a write-in winning the general election would be very rare.

Youngman defeated incumbent Barry Smith in the primary. Smith took over for Sheriff Keith Cain in December.

Youngman says the lack of a Democratic candidate put extra pressure on the primary vote.

“The last six months just flew by while we were running, but the last two hours were the longest of the entire six-month period. It was such a close race, and I credit that to the caliber of the two candidates running,” Youngman said.

Wright defeated two-term incumbent Tracy Beatty in Ohio County.

“Me and my family and my fiancé would start first thing in the morning Monday through Saturday and go late into the evening, knocking on doors, going to events and meeting with people and getting to know them on a personal basis,” Wright said after winning the primary.

The sheriff’s race in Union and Webster Counties is only halfway decided.

Each race included two Republicans and one Democrat, so the Democratic candidate was not even listed on the primary ballot.

Jason Thomas defeated Geoffrey Deibler in Union County. The sheriff’s seat was open after Sheriff Mickey Arnold announced he would not seek re-election.

“It’s always exhilarating when you win, it’s always a happy moment, but when you win a primary it’s like winning the first leg of a relay race. You’re happy to have that, but you immediately go into next stage mode, I guess,” Thomas said.

Billy Braden defeated incumbent Donald Jones in Webster County.

Braden says he plans to stay the course of his primary campaign for the general election, and thanked voters for coming out and making their voices heard.

Braden will face Democrat Roy Starkey in November’s general election to decide Webster County’s next sheriff.

Thomas will run against Democrat Jared Beauchamp in the Union County race.

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