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Hickman Co. incumbent GOP judge-exec running unopposed for third term

The incumbent Republican Hickman County judge-executive is running unopposed for reelection.

First elected in 2014, Kenny Wilson is campaigning for his third term as the county’s chief executive with no competitor for the GOP nomination and no Democratic competitor filed for fall’s general election.

Wilson was a teacher in the Hickman County School System for over 30 years and served four years as the county’s superintendent before becoming judge-executive. When asked to describe himself, the first word Wilson used was “educator.”

“I think we did good things when I was there as superintendent,” Wilson said. “I started the Falcon Academy, in which we helped our students here and helped give them an excellent start to their post secondary career.”

While judge-executive, Wilson has been able to create multiple new development projects around Hickman County. He lists Rotary Park as one of these big accomplishments as the park includes a farmer’s market, playground, fishing pier and walking trails. In addition, Wilson said work is soon to begin for a new community building.

Wilson said one of the biggest issues facing his county right now is dealing with staggering inflation. He said the county is helping residents anyway they can such as giving out food and clothing through their current mission house. Wilson said, on the bright side, the county’s tax rates are relatively low and the county has only a 3-4% unemployment rate.

“The people who live in our county are hard working people. They are loyal citizens, and they help each other,” he said. “We’re basically an agricultural county, and we don’t back away from that. We’re very proud of that.”

Looking to the future of Hickman, Wilson said he’s always searching for ways to increase the number of jobs available. He said the county government recently purchased 50 acres of land for an industrial park he hopes will bring in exciting new opportunities.

WIlson would also like to see infrastructure improvements to the county. To that end, he wants to work more closely with the city of Columbus to help them get grants to improve their water system. Wilson also mentioned wanting to get broadband service to every resident in Hickman County. He said the task could be accomplished, but only through support from the state infrastructure authority.

“Then, once we get the fiber up to all of our homes, then we're gonna have a little level-er playing field for us to play in,” the judge-executive said. “You know, that’s been a project that we’ve continuously been working on also is trying to keep the field level. So, we’re not behind due to the fact it’s something out of our control.”

Wilson said there are many more plans in motion to help the people of Hickman County, like bringing a new healthcare group in. Wilson believes Kentucky Care will be moving into the area in the next three to four months.

At the center of all his plans, Wilson said his goal is to help the citizens of Columbus, Clinton and all of Hickman.

“We’re the second smallest county in the state, as far as population. And we don’t look at that as a disadvantage whatsoever at all,” Wilson said. “We look at it as a very good thing.”

The 2022 primary elections will take place on May 17. Learn more about races in the region in our Primary Election Voter Guide.

Zacharie Lamb is a music major at Murray State University and is a Graves County native.
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