Sheriff's race: Matthews, Pineiroa make it official

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By Forrest Berkshire, Editor

As soon as the Nelson County Clerk’s Office unlocked its doors on the first day to officially file to run for office, Kaelen Matthews and Ramon Pineiroa were both walking through them.


The two men filed only minutes apart Wednesday to run for Nelson County sheriff.

Both men are long-serving deputy sheriffs and their official filings had long been expected.

Both had filed letters of intent to run with the state last month, which allowed them to start raising money and putting together a campaign organization. Wednesday’s filing with the county clerk’s office means both of their names will be on the ballot.

They are both running as Democrats in the May 22 primary. A few names have been circulating of others possibly running for the office, and Jan. 30 is the filing deadline.

Matthews, 37, is a Nelson County native who has served as a deputy since 2003. In 2011, he was promoted to sergeant. He was promoted to lieutenant in 2016.

Pineiroa, 44, is originally from Florida, but settled in the Bardstown area after serving nine years in the U.S. Army. For part of that time, he was stationed at Fort Knox. He started with the sheriff’s office in 2006. He is a sergeant and night-shift team leader.

Sheriff Ed Mattingly has said since shortly after starting his first term that he would not seek re-election.

In previous interviews with the Standard, both candidates said they wanted to focus on putting more deputies on the road patrolling and working closer with the schools to reduce drug use among the county’s youth.

On Wednesday, they both said they were glad to make it official.

“I’m excited to make it official and have the opportunity to move the Sheriff’s Office into its next chapter,” Pineiroa said.

“I’m excited to get this started,” Matthews said.

Both candidates are planning kick-offs for their campaigns this weekend.

Pineiroa has an event scheduled for Saturday at a home at 4840 New Haven Road from 5:30 to 11 p.m.

Matthews’ kick-off is 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 107 N. Fourth St.

The candidates have also been active on Facebook, at “Kaelen Matthews for Sheriff of Nelson County” and “Ramon Pineiroa for Sheriff.”