Challengers and incumbents brace for primary battles in judge-executive races in Northern Kentucky

11/06/2013 05:39 PM

The first two candidates for judge-executive turned in their paperwork to run on the first filing day, officially opening a competitive Republican primary season in the big three Northern Kentucky counties.

Republican Boone County Judge-Executive Gary Moore and the Republican challenger in Kenton County, Kris Knochelmann both filed to run Wednesday.

Moore, who’s looking for a fifth four-year term, will be opposed in the primary by Boone County Commissioner Matt Dedden.

Coming off an unsuccessful run for Congress in last year’s Republican primary, Moore acknowledged that he thought long and hard about running for a fifth term.

“Elections are tough, they’re tough on the individual and they’re very tough on the family. The race for Congress really caused me to realize that I’m doing what I need to be doing,” Moore said.

Moore feels that his experience and track record will win him a fifth term.

“We’ve continued to keep tax rates low,” Moore said. “Our property rate in Boone County is lower than when we took office 15 years ago.”

Moore also pledged that if he wins a fifth term as judge-executive, he’ll not seek another office during that time.

“I’m ruling out running for any other office except judge-executive,” said Moore.

Dedden, a first-term county commissioner, was traveling out of town and could not be reached for comment. He, like all candidates for local, state and federal office, have until the last Tuesday in January to file.

Meanwhile, in Kenton County, Kris Knochelmann, who is in his second term as county commissioner, will oppose Kenton County Judge-Executive, Steve Arlinghaus.

Knochelmann said he plans to focus on improving economic development as well as keep a tighter rein on spending.

“I think economic development is huge,” Knochelmann said. “We’ve got to spend more time and effort on growing jobs and watching our expenditures in a more fiscally responsible manner.”

In Campbell County, Judge-Executive Steve Pendery will be challenged by former Republican Party 4th Congressional District Chairman Kevin Sell.

Knochelmann says that it’s no accident that all three Northern Kentucky judge-executives will be challenged in primaries.

“I think Northern Kentucky as a whole is going through a new day. I think that everybody sees we’re on the cusp of some really key decisions that the community is going to have to decide long term and what direction this is going to take,” said Knochelmann.

About Don Weber

Don Weber joined cn|2 when it launched back in May 2010 and soon became a reporter for Pure Politics. He is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University and has spent many years covering everything from politics to sports. Don says he loves meeting new people everyday as part of his job and also enjoys the fact that no two days are the same when he comes to work. Don Weber can be reached at donald.weber@charter.com.

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