Harnice Cannot Run for Mayor's Seat Now: Statute
By Donna Groves
PADUCAH, KY - Deputy McCracken County Judge-Executive Doug Harnice cannot seek the Paducah Mayor's office as a write-in candidate in November, because he was defeated for the office in May, according to Kentucky state statute.
According to KRS 117.265, (1)...Any candidate for city office who is defeated in a partisan or nonpartisan primary shall be ineligible as a candidate for the same office in the regular election.
Former Paducah Sun Political reporter Bill Bartleman called WKYX radio Wednesday morning to point out the applicable law, which would keep Harnice from being eligible to run this November. This as Harnice had said he was considering a write-in candidacy if Robert Coleman officially withdraws from the race due to health issues.
Coleman and Gayle Kaler were the top two vote-getters in the May primary, where Harnice was eliminated, meaning they advanced to the November election. However, the 80-year-old Coleman said Monday that he may get out of the race as his health has prevented him from campaigning, leaving only Kaler on the ballot.
Harnice said he contacted the Secretary of State's Office Wednesday morning, and was told that he could run as a write-in candidate for another office, such as city commissioner, but since he was defeated in the mayoral primary, he may not re-enter that contest.
Harnice said he's not terribly disappointed by the news, because it was the encouragement of others that prompted him to enter the race, rather than his own conviction.
"I got so many calls and emails...I couldn't even go to the grocery store without people wishing me well...so that's kind of the way it got the ball rolling. But I had not committed to running, even as a write-in."