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Jerry Gilliam win for Christian Co. judge-executive ends Steve Tribble’s long tenure

Gilliam Knight.jpg
Hoptown Chronicle
/
Jennifer P. Brown
Republican Jerry Gilliam speaks to supporters after winning the race for county judge-executive, while James R. Knight Jr., the victor in the Hopkinsville mayor’s race, claps for him Tuesday night at the Memorial Building.

Gilliam will serve with six Republican magistrates overseeing county government. Two Democrats will remain on the court.

Christian County will have a new judge-executive for the first time in 28 years.

Republican challenger Jerry Gilliam defeated Democratic incumbent Steve Tribble, 8,186 to 7,269, according to preliminary election results.

“Look out, Christian County,” Gilliam told Republican backers who celebrated the party’s numerous wins at a watch party Tuesday night at the Memorial Building. “You all proved today that you are wanting change, and I think that change is going to come.”

Gilliam, a county magistrate serving his first term in office, defeated three challengers in the May primary to advance to a contest against one of the county’s most experienced politicians. He quit his job at Ag Quest Financial Services in June to focus mainly on the election.

After he ran for magistrate four years ago, it wasn’t initially on his radar to run for judge-executive, Gilliam told Hoptown Chronicle. But supporters started asking him to challenge Tribble, he said.

Tribble had an election night watch party planned with supporters in The Hall at the Alhambra, but the gathering had to continue without him because he was hospitalized earlier in the day with an infection, he told Hoptown Chronicle.

Tribble had retired from a job overseeing the local probation and parole office before he first ran for judge-executive in 1994. He said he did not intend to become a professional politician and pledged to not seek reelection after one term. But he did, citing requests from voters that he run again. In most of his subsequent runs, he did not have an opponent.

Gilliam said he’ll be looking for Tribble’s “guidance” in his transition to the office in January.

“I have the utmost respect for Judge Tribble,” he said.

Republican Jerry Gilliam speaks to supporters after winning the race for county judge-executive, while James R. Knight Jr., the victor in the Hopkinsville mayor’s race, claps for him Tuesday night at the Memorial Building. (Hoptown Chronicle photo by Jennifer P. Brown)

Christian County Fiscal Court

The fiscal court that takes office with Gilliam will have six Republicans and two Democrats. Five of the Republicans will be new to the court.

Democrat Rich Liebe, who is a former Hopkinsville mayor, was the only member of his party to hold off a Republican challenger. The court’s other Democrat, Magaline Ferguson, did not have a challenger. She is the only woman and the only Black magistrate on the court.

The judge-executive and magistrates serve four-year terms. They oversee county government.

County Magistrate – 1st District

CandidateVotes%
✔ Magaline Ferguson* (D)868100%

County Magistrate – 2nd District

CandidateVotes%
✔ Josh Turner (R)92453.9%
Mark Wells* (D)78946.1%

County Magistrate – 3rd District

CandidateVotes%
✔ George Barnett (R)1,38656.0%
Mark E. Cansler* (D)1,08844.0%

County Magistrate – 4th District

CandidateVotes%
✔ J.E. Pryor (R)2,210100%

County Magistrate – 5th District

CandidateVotes%
A.J. Rogers (R)83444.4%
✔ Rich G. Liebe* (D)1,04355.6%

County Magistrate – 6th District

CandidateVotes%
✔ Phillip Peterson* (R)903100%

County Magistrate – 7th District

CandidateVotes%
✔ Russ Guffey (R)1,45468.5%
David Fernandez (D)67031.5%

County Magistrate – 8th District

CandidateVotes%
✔ John M. Bruce (R)1,47769.1%
Terry Bowman (D)66030.9%

This story was originally published by the Hoptown Chronicle.

Jennifer P. Brown is the founder and editor of Hoptown Chronicle.
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