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Madisonville Passes Ordinance To Make Mayor, City Council Elections Nonpartisan

The Madisonville City Council on Sept. 20.
The Madisonville City Council on Sept. 20.

Madisonville City Council passed an ordinance in a 5-1 vote on Monday to change its elections for city council and mayor to nonpartisan races.

Before Monday’s vote, there were only seven cities out of more than 400 across the state that still held partisan local elections, according to the Kentucky League of Cities. Councilman Adam Townsend, before voting in favor of the ordinance on its second reading, said the issues that come before the local government aren’t usually partisan.

“Henderson is nonpartisan. Paducah is nonpartisan.” Townsend said. “I don’t really see where you would call we have much Republican or Democrat partisan ideas that come up.”

A similar effort to make local elections nonpartisan in Madisonville failed to pass in 2014. The Madisonville Messenger reported earlier this month another councilman said the previous effort failed in part because it did not allow for primaries in races that had more than two candidates.

The passed ordinance would allow for a primary election if more than two candidates run for a particular seat. If only two candidates file for a race, then the race would go straight to a general election.

Hopkinsville currently has a committee that is considering a move to nonpartisan local elections.

"Liam Niemeyer is a reporter for the Ohio Valley Resource covering agriculture and infrastructure in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia and also serves Assistant News Director at WKMS. He has reported for public radio stations across the country from Appalachia to Alaska, most recently as a reporter for WOUB Public Media in Athens, Ohio. He is a recent alumnus of Ohio University and enjoys playing tenor saxophone in various jazz groups."
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