Thrasher files for judge-executive

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By Randy Patrick

There will be an election for county judge-executive in November.

Don Thrasher filed his papers Friday with the county clerk as the only Republican candidate so far. If no other Republican files before the Jan. 30 deadline, he will challenge the winner of the May 22 Democratic primary in the Nov. 6 general election.

So far, the other candidates in the race are incumbent County Judge-Executive Dean Watts, who has held the office for 23 years, and Kenny Fogle, a former state transportation employee and local United Way director who is challenging him for the Democratic nomination.

“I just want to be a voice for the little guy,” Thrasher said Friday morning after he signed his paperwork.

Thrasher, 47, announced last week that he was going to run on a platform that included abolishing the county’s occupational tax, spending less on government, eliminating unnecessary county positions and salaries, creating a county planning commission separate from Bardstown’s, and housing low-level offenders in military-style Quonset huts rather than building a bigger jail.

He reiterated Friday that he would only accept $15,000 of the county judge’s salary and return $85,000 or so to the county’s general fund.

He also made a new promise — that he’ll fund his campaign out of his own pocket.

“We’re not going to be accepting any political donations,” he said.

He would ask that people give the money to good causes instead of to his campaign.

That was a campaign pledge Peter Trzop used when he ran for county judge-executive as a Republican four years ago.

On Friday, Trzop and Dr. Steven Harris, a retired dentist, showed up at the County Clerk’s Office with Thrasher to co-sign his campaign forms and show their support for his candidacy.

Trzop said Thrasher is “the only conservative who’s going to be running for this office.”

Thrasher’s goals are similar to his, he said, and he believes he will do “a good job.”

Thrasher garnered attention recently when he took Watts to court over the judge’s executive order to rename parts of the former Louisville Road left over when U.S. 31E was realigned, including what is now North Salt River Road, where Thrasher lives.

That decision has been disruptive for residents of the area, he said.

“They can’t find us,” he remarked.

He said the people were never involved in that decision, and he believes Thrasher will bring a different approach to governing.