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Primary Tuesday will decide who will challenge Gov. Beshear

Voting in Kentucky’s 2023 Primary Election will be held on Tuesday, May 16th, from 6:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. KY utilizes a closed primary process, by which your selection is limited to your registered party (R or D only). Hancock County Fiscal Court approved the purchase of 12 new electronic poll books in February, which placed them in time to be used for the primary election.

There are 12 Republican candidates and 3 Democrat candidates running for KY Governor. Current KY Governor Andy Beshear (since 2019), is challenged by Geoff Young, who recently ran against U.S. Rep Andy Barr for KY’s 6th Congressional District seat, and Peppy Martin, former Republican who lost to incumbent Gov. Paul Patton in 1999.

The 12 Republican candidates are: State Auditor Mike Harmon, Former U.N. Ambassador Kelly Craft, Attorney General Daniel Cameron, Ag Commissioner Ryan Quarles, Somerset Mayor Alan Keck, N. KY Attorney Eric Deters, KY Army National Guard service member David O. Cooper, Jefferson County’s Bob DeVore, Madison County’s Robbie C. Smith, Harrison County’s Johnny Ray Rice, Jacob Clark, of Elizabethtown, and Dennis Ray Ormerod, of Louisville. Leading in polls as contenders of incumbent Beshear are Cameron, Craft and Quarles.

In addition to the governor’s race, are those for: attorney general, secretary of state, state auditor, commissioner of agriculture and state treasurer.

Secretary of State

The lone Democrat candidate for KY Secretary of State is Buddy Wheatley, of Covington, who was a 2-term state representative. The 3 Republican candidates are incumbent Michael Adams, Stephen Knipper and Allen Maricle. Knipper, of Independence, is running for the seat a third time. Maricle, of Lebanon Junction, served 2 terms as state representative in the 90s. Adams is running for his second term, after deciding against a run for governor.

State Auditor

Unchallenged Democrat Kimberley Reeder will be running in the general election against one of 2 Republican candidates for KY Auditor of Public Accounts. The 2 Republican candidates running in the primary election are Allison Ball and Derek Leonard Petteys.

Attorney General

The Democrat & Republican primaries were both canceled for KY Attorney General. Pamela Stevenson (D) and Russell Coleman (R) both advanced, and will compete in the General Election in November.

State Treasurer

Only one Democrat candidate will be running for State Treasurer, Michael Bowman. The 3 Republican candidates are Andrew Cooperrider, Mark H. Metcalf, of Lancaster, who lost for state Senate in 2020, and O.C. “OJ” Oleka, former Chief of Staff for State Treasurer Allison Ball, before becoming President of the Association of Independent KY Colleges & Universities.

Commissioner of Ag

Sierra J. Enlow and Mikael Malone are the 2 Democrat candidates running for KY Commissioner of Agriculture in the primaries, against Republican candidates Richard Heath and Jonathon Shell.


The last day to register for the primary was Monday, April 17th. The last day to register for the 2023 General Election (on November 7th) is Tuesday, October 10th. Individuals with medical emergencies may submit a notarized application to County Clerk Trina Ogle for an absentee ballot for the primary election, through May 16th. The last days for excused, in-person absentee voting were May 3rd-May 10th. The last day to apply for military/overseas absentee ballots was May 9th.

Early Voting

Early voting can be done on Thursday, May 11th, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and on Friday & Saturday, May 12th & 13th, from 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. at the Hancock County Administration Building in the Fiscal Court Room. (No voting on Sunday, May 14th or Monday, May 15th.)

Election Day Polling Locations

Election day polling locations will be open from 6:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Any registered voter may vote at any of these locations: North Hancock Elementary on 330 Frank Luttrell Rd in Lewisport, Hancock County High School on 80 State Route 271 S in Lewisport and South Hancock Elementary on 8631 State Route 69 in Hawesville.

Precincts A101, A102 (East & West Lewisport): Lewisport Community Center on 15 Pell Street. Precincts C101, C102 (East & West Hawesville): Hawesville Baptist Church New Life Center on 290 Main Street. Precinct D101 (Indian Creek): Patesville Baptist Church on 3965 State Route 144 E in Hawesville. Precinct D102 (Pellville): Pellville Fire Station on 12194 State Route 2181 in Hawesville. Precinct D103 (Boling Chapel): Boling Chapel Methodist Church on 4435 Hawesville Easton Rd. in Hawesville.

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By Jennifer Wimmer

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