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New faces put hats in for county commission

BY CORIANNE EGAN cegan@paducahsun.com

McCracken County residents in District 1 will have plenty of names to choose from in this year's primary, as the race for the county commissioner seat has brought out some new faces.

Two McCracken County men filed to challenge incumbent Ronnie Freeman for the seat he's occupied for 15 years. Mike Hutchinson, a Democrat, and Larry Wilson, a Republican, are both new to the political field. Bill Bartleman said he plans to file in the coming week as a Republican.

Freeman, a Democrat, said he has run opposed before and is eager for the spring primary.

"I welcome anyone that wants to run," Freeman said. "As always, I am going to run an aggressive and diligent campaign that focuses on my past record, where there have been no tax increases and we have shown a lot of attention to job creation."

Hutchinson, 42, said he is running because he wants to see a change in McCracken County. He worked for 13 years as a corrections officer at the Kentucky State Penitentiary before becoming an assistant manager at Mr. Gatti's. He is also a member of the Four Rivers K9 Search and Rescue team.

Wilson, 60, is a truancy officer and in-school detention proctor with McCracken County Public Schools, where he's worked for 16 years. He's also a licensed barber. Wilson decided to run in the spirit of public service, and said he would like to see higher wages for the sheriff's department's deputies.

Bartleman, who worked as a reporter with the Sun for 39 years, is the chief of staff at Mid-Continent University. He said he will file papers within the next week. He is campaigning on the need for a more open and accessible government.

The filing deadline for the 2014 election is Jan. 28. One Democrat and one Republican will face off in the November election based on the results of the May 20 primary.

Contact Corianne Egan, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8652 or follow @CoriEgan on Twitter.

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