Candidates for Marshall County judge/executive and county sheriff faced off Monday night in the first of two forums hosted by Marshall County High School’s AP Government Class. Students posed questions regarding campaign priorities and plans to benefit the community.
Marshall County Judge/Executive
Republican incumbent Kevin Neal faces Democratic challenger and current state House representative Will Coursey in the race for county judge/executive. Neal said he plans to continue to be fiscally responsible in how he would prioritize the county’s budget. He said he and a budget committee plan three to four years in advance.
“We’re looking at purchasing a 300 acre industrial site,” Neal said. “We couldn’t have done without budgeting and being fiscally responsible for the last three years.”
Coursey said he’s no stranger to working with budgets because of his experience in the state legislature. Coursey also said he wants to bridge a divide between county and city officials if he is elected to the position.
Marshall County Sheriff
Combating the opioid epidemic is a top priority for many running for office in Marshall County-- especially in the race for county sheriff. Democratic incumbent Kevin Byars faces Republican challenger Eddie McGuire for the position.
McGuire said he would reallocate funds in the Sheriff’s Department budget to create additional units to the drug division to combat the opioid crisis. He said the department is currently under-serving communities like Hardin.
“I was walking around, asking people in Hardin for their votes last week,” McGuire said. “In 30 minutes time knocking on ten doors, I knew of two suspected drug trafficking houses. So it’s just a matter of getting to the people, and they’ll tell you need to know.”
Sheriff Byars said he also plans on adding additional units to the department’s drug division. He said his office wants to help drug users and shut down traffickers.
In the race for Commonwealth’s Attorney, candidate Dennis Foust was the only one to show up for the forum. Foust faces incumbent Mark Blankenship.
The next forum features candidates for local races such as District 6 State Representative and District 2 State Senator. The forum is Tuesday at Marshall County Public Library in Benton at 6:00 p.m.