The first important deadline in the 2020 election passed Friday afternoon, with three Madisonville City Council members assured of facing challengers later this year. But none will have opponents in the May primary.
Two political newcomers paid the $50 filing fee at the Hopkins County Clerk's office Friday. Amy Watson Cruz filed as a Republican in Ward 4, while preschool program assistant Amy Sherman filed as a Democrat in Ward 3.
"Sometimes we get filings in the final hour," Assistant County Clerk Jenny Menser said.
But this time, the only 11th-hour visitors were people renewing passports.
The City Council lineup looked like this as of Friday night:
• Ward 1 -- Misty Cavanaugh, independent incumbent.
• Ward 2 -- Tony Space, Republican incumbent and Jimmy Young Jr., independent.
• Ward 3 -- Sherman, Democrat and Adam Townsend, independent incumbent.
• Ward 4 -- Watson Cruz, Republican and Larry Noffsinger, Democrat incumbent.
• Ward 5 -- Frank Stevenson, Republican incumbent.
• Ward 6 -- Chad Menser, Republican.
This is not necessarily the final list for November. Independent candidates must file a statement of intent with the County Clerk by Tuesday, Jan. 28. Their actual deadline to file for office is Tuesday, June 2.
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Notably absent from the filing book Friday was Ward 6 Councilman Bobby Johnson. He missed many meetings in 2019 due to health complications after a fall at his home, and has not attended a meeting since October. A voice mail left with Johnson this week was not returned.
Under Kentucky law, candidates in other Hopkins County cities have a filing deadline of June 2 because their elections are nonpartisan.
Friday also was the deadline for major party candidates to file for Kentucky House seats. The Secretary of State's website showed in Hopkins County, both Republican Rep. Jim Gooch Jr. and Rep. Melinda Gibbons Prunty will have Democratic opposition.
Gooch will face Art McLaughlin of Sacramento. Prunty's challenger is Drakesboro teacher Crystal Chappell.
Rep. Myron Dossett, a Republican from Pembroke, is unopposed at this point.