The best news about today is that it’s the end of January, the cruelest, most awful month on the calendar. And it’s also the filing deadline for 2012 political races. And while there may be more surprises ahead, the biggest and certainly most interesting race around here will be in the new 37th State Senate district.
Doug Hawkins, the former Metro Council member famous for his fight against a “bomb” shelter, filed his paperwork today to run in the Republican primary. He will face activist Chris Thieneman. There’s likely to be an interesting primary on the Dem side there, where current Metro Council member Dan Johnson told me today that he plans to file. He’ll face freelance writer Steve Bittenbender and Robert Walker, an attorney.
There are 14 Metro Council races, (odd-numbered districts, except 1, for an unexpired term of Judy Green). It looks like David Tandy, David James, Jim King, Madonna Flood and Robin Engel will be unopposed, while Rick Blackwell, Kelly Downard, Stuart Benson and Brent Ackerson will not face competition in the May primary. The most intriguing races — Curtis Morrison’s challenge to Tom Owen in the 8th, and the two primaries featuring 3 candidates each in 14. Sarah Provancher, a advertising executive, is a Republican challenging Bent Ackerson, a Democrat, in the 26th. The balance of power on the Council, currently 17-9 for the Dems, is unlikely to change unless one of the Republicans win in 14.
In the State House, a gang of four, two from each party, is running for the 10th District seat in Jefferson County. Democrats Teena Halbig, who has twice run for state office and been president of the League of Women Voters, will face real estate broker Mark Suna. The GOP candidates are Todd Lally, who ran for U.S. Congress against John Yarmuth in 2010, and attorney Erwin Roberts, a former Cabinet Secretary under Ernie Fletcher who briefly considered a run against Yarmuth in 2008.
In the 31st, a spot long held by Jeffersontown’s Steve Riggs, publishing executive Nick Simon, a Republican, is making his first run for office. Former GOP gubernatorial candidate Phil Moffett has filed for the 32nd District seat, and will face well-known businesswoman Joyce K. Jennings.
Finally, in Jeffersontown, 13 candidates have filed to run for 8 Council seats. Among them is former member and Mayoral candidate, and the wife of Metro Council member Jon Ackerson, Kay Ackerson.