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Retired KSP Trooper running against incumbent Livingston Co. judge-executive

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Derek Operle

A retired law enforcement officer is vying for the GOP nomination for Livingston County judge-executive against the incumbent.

Republican incumbent Garrett Gruber is running against former Kentucky State Trooper Michael Williams for Livingston County Judge-Executive.

Gruber is a graduate of Murray State University and an Army National Guard veteran. He says Livingston County did not pursue enough discretionary funding before he took office. He noted that Livingston has saved over $4 million dollars from grants during his term. He says the more grants the county receives, the less money has to come from taxpayers.

“Money is tight all around,” Gruber said. “My job as judge-executive is to provide the best possible service in the most fiscally responsible manner for current and future generations.”

Gruber says as judge-executive he must be proactive in securing funds and grants. He says the more grants the county receives the less it has to rely on local taxpayers. He says one of his goals if reelected is to show proven action. He says water and sewage are one of his main priorities but he must be ready to find solutions to all problems.

He says he aided with a 2017 Kentucky Senate bill helping military veterans obtain careers in education. Gruber wants to do more for veterans if reelected. He has made the Prisoner of War Flag a permanent installation at the Livingston County Courthouse.

Gruber and his team have worked with the state legislature to help create and sell the new Kentucky State POW/MIA license plate which will be available in the fall. The money received from the sale of the license plate will help Kentucky veterans.

Public safety, law enforcement and emergency medical services were other priorities for Gruber. The judge-executive was able to obtain grants for the past three years in a row for Livingston County’s 911 system.

“Three and a half years ago I asked for people to give me a chance and, thankfully, most of them did,” Gruber said. “I didn’t win every vote. I want to show the ones that didn’t vote for me that I can do the job successfully.”

Williams, Gruber’s opponent in the Republican primary, served as a Kentucky State Trooper for 17 years after receiving his associate’s degree from Paducah Community College in 1997.

According to William’s campaign website, he wants to raise awareness of local businesses on opportunities in the county. If elected, he also wants to help increase internet and cell service throughout the county. Like Gruber, Williams wants to assist first responders and make sure they are adequately funded.

When reached for an interview, Michael Williams did not respond.

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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