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Marshall Co. commissioner challenging incumbent judge-exec for Republican nomination

Derek Operle

A Marshall County commissioner is challenging the incumbent judge-executive for the Republican nomination in May’s primary election.

County Commissioner Kevin Spraggs is running against current Marshall Judge-Executive Kevin Neal. No Democratic candidate has filed for the office.

Spraggs owns a real estate and auction company and served as the president of the Lake-Barkley Board of Realtors in 2015. He says his experience as a realtor and business owner would give him an advantage if elected judge-executive.

“If you had to make payroll and survive in the business world with your own money it prepares you to handle money in the public sector,” Spraggs said.

Spraggs says one of the biggest issues facing Marshall County is county officials’ unwillingness to work with one another. He says, as a real estate agent, he is experienced in making two disagreeing parties come to a compromise.

“If I can’t do that, then I don’t get paid,” Spraggs said. “That will be critical in running the county: bringing people together. Right now there is a big division in the county.”

Spraggs says his goal will be accomplished through leadership and respect. He says there is no reason for someone’s opinion to be disrespected and it is crucial that everyones’ opinion is heard.

Spraggs says water has been a main priority in Marshall County for many years, but the internet has become equally important. He says the COVID-19 pandemic showed how important internet access is.

“The internet has gone from being a luxury to a necessity,” Spraggs said. “When you go from shopping on the internet and watching videos to having to do school work. That is becoming very critical.”

Spraggs says his experience as a real estate agent has taught him to be proactive. If elected, he wants to involve officials from the private sector and from various Marshall communities to help come up with infrastructure and job creation solutions.

“You have to have a strategic plan for what you want to do,” Spraggs said. “Whether it's a privately owned business or the entire county. [Marshall County] needs a plan and to my knowledge there is not one.”

Neal did not return multiple requests for an interview. During a candidate forum in March, Neal assured constituents he would be a good steward of county funds, fighting for what’s necessary but not spending frivolously.

“Give me your needs and your wants,” Neal said. “I will make sure I’ll bring the needs to the budget, but your wants … we are going to have to talk about them. And there have been a lot of people that have brought ‘wants’ to me that I [told], ‘You know what? It's not going to happen this year.’ But I have done everything I could to get them the needs.”

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

Mason Galemore is a Murray State student studying journalism. He was the editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper. Since then has explored different publication avenues such as broadcasting. He hopes to travel as a journalist documenting conflict zones and different cultures. He remembers watching the Arab Spring in 2011 via the news when he was a kid, which dawned in a new age of journalism grounded in social media. His favorite hobbies are hiking, photography, reading, writing and playing with his Australian Shepard, Izzy. He is originally from Charleston, Missouri.
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