Hopkinsville City Council Races Attract 27 Candidates For 12 Seats

Jan 15, 2020

Credit lightwise / 123rf Stock Photo

  Two Republican and four Democratic races will be contested in the May 19 primaries when Hopkinsville voters cast ballots for the city’s 12 council representatives. 

And at least six city council races will be contested in the Nov. 3 general election.

In all, 27 candidates, including one Independent, have filed to run for a two-year term on the council. Only two incumbents are unchallenged – Democrat Kimberly McCarley, of Ward 2, and Republican Amy Craig, of Ward 5.

Voters can confirm their registration by going to the Kentucky State Board of Elections website.

Here’s a map of the boundaries for the 12 city council wards.

By ward, here are the Hopkinsville City Council candidates:

Ward 1

  • Darvin A. Adams, D, of Mechanic Street (incumbent)
  • Thomas Grant, D, of East First Street
  • Natasha Sophia Francis, R, of East Seventh Street

The Ward 1 race includes the same three candidates who ran two years ago. Grant, who previously served three terms on city council, lost in the 2018 Democratic primary to Adams. Francis lost to Adams in the general election.

Adams, 44, is a Christian Methodist Episcopal preacher and works in his family’s business, Adams Funeral Home. Grant, 63, is a maintenance supervisor for Denso Air in Commerce Park.

Ward 2

  • Kimberly McCarley, D, of Talbert Drive (incumbent)

McCarley, 49, is only candidate in her race. 

Ward 3

  • Don Ahart, D, of Brame Drive (incumbent)
  • Alethea West, D, of Colonette Drive 

Ahart, 73, is a retired school administrator. West, 47, is an adult education instructor for Hopkinsville Community College at Fort Campbell. 

Ward 4

  • Paul Edward Henson, D, of Mark Drive (incumbent)
  • Bradley Garabrandt, I, of White Street

Henson, 79, is seeking his seventh term in office. He is retired from Dana Corp. He will face the Independent candidate, Garabrandt, in November.

Ward 5

  • Amy Craig, R, Morris Circle (incumbent)

Craig, 44, does not have a challenger.

Ward 6

  • Paula Knight, D, Candy Drive
  • Kenneth Hatzakorzian, D, Greenwood Drive
  • Travis Martin, R, Steeplechase Lane

The incumbent representative in Ward 6, Wendell Lynch, is not seeking re-election to the council, but he is likely being considered for a temporary appointment as mayor when the current mayor, Carter Hendricks, leaves at the end of January to become executive director of the South Western Kentucky Economic Development Council. 

In the Democratic primary for Ward 6, former council member Knight, 69, seeks to regain the post she left in 2004 after four terms. Knight is semi-retired from her family’s appliance business. Her primary opponent, Hatzakorzian, 69, is a retired banker. The winner in their primary will face Republican Travis Martin, 38, who is a real estate agent with Exit Realty. 

Ward 7

  • Terry Parker, D, of West Riverwood Drive (incumbent)
  • Dustin Gilbert, R, of Tanglewood Drive
  • Richard Covington, R, of Par Place

Parker, 49, an employee of Tennessee Heating and Cooling and a former Hopkinsville police officer, does not have a primary challenger. In November, he’ll face the winner of the Republican primary race between Gilbert, 36, a real estate agent with West Kentucky Realty Team, and Richard Covington, 68, a nursing home administrator. Covington is also a former city councilman and lost in a run for mayor in 2010.

Ward 8

  • Tom Johnson, R, of Sherinton Place (incumbent)
  • Twyla Parris, D, Sivley Road

Johnson, 54, a civilian contractor at Fort Campbell and a U.S. Army veteran, is seeking his third term in office. Parris, 54, works in accounts payable at the T.RAD plant in Commerce Park. Neither has a primary challenger.

Ward 9

  • Patricia A. Waddell-Bell, D, of Church Street (incumbent)
  • Ardell G. Owens, D, of Bussell Street

Waddell-Bell, 73, is a retired banker. She was first elected to the council in 1998 and now seeks her 12th term. Her primary opponent, Owens, 57, has worked in local food service jobs for 30 years. He currently works at the Max Café on West Seventh Street.

Ward 10

  • Jimmy Dossett, D, of South Iris Drive (incumbent)
  • Steve Keel, R, of South Main Street
  • Robert Almy, R, of Dell Drive,
  • Nichole Eastman, R, of Alumni Avenue

Three Republicans – Keel, 43, Almy, 66, and Eastman, 39 – make up the primary contest for Ward 10. The winner will face Dossett, who is seeking his sixth term in office. Dossett, 64, is retired from Rogers Group and drives a school bus.

Ward 11

  • Jason Bell, R, of Rose Drive (incumbent)
  • Steve Hoover, D, of Thomas Street

Bell, 38, who owns The Car Spa, an automobile detail and clean-up shop, is seeking his second term in office. His challenger, Hoover, 39, works for the Christian County Road Department.

Ward 12

  • Phillip Brooks, D, of South Virginia Street (incumbent)
  • Matthew Handy, R, of High Street

Brooks, 54, an educator, served on city council from 1992 to 2006 and returned to office in 2008. Handy, 21, works in produce at a Nashville Walmart store. He commutes from Hopkinsville.

For the city council primary races, Hopkinsville voters cast ballots only in their party’s primary and within their ward. However, in the November general election, city voters cast ballots in all 12 wards. 

County election officials will draw names Thursday, Jan. 16, to determine ballot positions for the city council candidates. The draws will be made at 2 p.m. in the fiscal courtroom at the Christian County Courthouse.

This story originally appeared on the Hoptown Chronicle.