Local business owner and farmer James Roy Knight Jr. announced his official candidacy for Hopkinsville mayor Thursday evening.
Knight, a Republican, is seeking to finish the remaining two years of the unexpired mayoral term left vacant by former Mayor Carter Hendricks in February. His Democratic opponent is Interim Mayor Wendell Lynch, who is serving in the appointed role until Dec. 31.
If elected in the November General Election, Knight said he plans to focus on small businesses, controlling city spending, making Hopkinsville an attractive place to live and work, and fully reopening the local economy.
“Over the last few months, we have seen so many changes in our city, commonwealth, and nation,” Knight said in a news release. “I have seen small businesses such as mine struggle, many pillars of our community were forced to close their doors. While others were considered essential and remained open. Hairdressers, restaurants, retailers were all closed.
“These establishments are also the ones that hire locally, pay local property taxes, and are the heart of this community,” he continued. “Our citizens have suffered and have had no voice. Well, I am here because I am one of them, and I will be their voice.”
Knight said he has no intent to raise taxes for wants instead of needs.
“Our wants have outweighed the needs of this community and in a time uncertainty we need to take control of spending and remember the working people can not afford to take the burden of higher taxes,” he said. “These unknowns are what our parents and grandparents warned us about, as they were also in similar situations 90 years ago. That is why, I will lead as mayor by controlling spending, and ensuring we meet our obligations first. This is one way I can help ensure we are prepared for the future.”
Knight hopes to mirror Tennessee’s tax structure with help from legislators in order to grow Hopkinsville collectively.
“One way is by reaching out to our leaders in Frankfort and loudly encouraging them to move to a similar tax system as our sister state, Tennessee. This way, our public funds could be put to work for our citizens in the most efficient manner,” Knight said, noting that he will work with Christian County government to recruit new industries and improve roads and the transportation system in Hopkinsville.
The Christian County Republican Party confirmed via Facebook that it had selected Knight as its nominee for the mayoral race.
Based on KRS 118.115, because the vacancy occurred less than 134 days before the primary, the nomination of a mayoral candidate shall be made in a manner determined by the governing authority of the political party concerned.
“Because of the way that’s it’s an unexpired term (for mayor), the parties have to choose who they want to nominate to run,” said Melinda Humphries, elections coordinator for the Christian County Clerk’s Office. “Anyone else has to file to run as an independent.”
Tuesday is the filing deadline for any other candidate that would like to run for mayor or any local office. The primary election is set for June 23 and was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The election to fill the unexpired mayoral term will be on the General Election ballot Nov. 3.
In other other election news:
Local Elections Coordinator Melinda Humphries announced a slew of election filings, a withdrawal and filing vacancies on the Christian County Clerk’s Office Facebook page Friday morning.
Along with Knight and Lynch being announced as the respective Republican and Democrat nominees for Hopkinsville mayor, two Independent candidates filed to run for Hopkinsville City Council.
The Rev. Ron Hicks filed for Ward 2, and Charles Crabtree III filed for Ward 4.
Republican candidate Nichole Eastman withdrew her bid for Ward 10 on Hopkinsville City Council.
In Crofton’s nonpartisan election, six candidates filed for the six seats on Crofton City Council. Those candidates are Anthony Durham, Brenda West, Wanda Croft, Jimmy Grace, Gregory Paul Owen and Reta Fleming.
In Pembroke’s nonpartisan election, three have filed for Pembroke City Commission. Those candidates are David Rule, Jeanette Aldridge and Karen Mitchell Pyle. Four seats are available.
As of Friday morning, no one had filed for the following offices:
- Christian County Board of Education Districts 1, 2 and 4
- Oak Grove City Council (six seats)
- LaFayette City Mayor unexpired term
- LaFayette City Commissioners (four seats)
The filing deadline is 4 p.m. Tuesday at the Christian County Clerk’s Office.