Thursday, May 10, 2001

Boone opening coveted

Names submitted for fiscal court

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        BURLINGTON — Democrats and Republicans in Boone County are vying for the gubernatorial appointment that will fill a pending vacancy on fiscal court.

        Both parties have submitted lists to Gov. Paul Patton, who under state law must appoint someone to fill the term of County Commissioner Robert Hay.

        Mr. Hay, a Florence Republican whose term ends at the end of 2002, has announced that he plans to step down as soon as Mr. Patton makes the appointment. A first-term commissioner, Mr. Hay has said he is leaving the fiscal court to spend more time with his family and devote more attention to the Russian Orthodox church in Blue Ash that he recently joined.

        The appointment could come today or by the end of the week.

The nominees
        The Boone County Democratic Party nominated:

        • Tim Hamilton of Florence, an optometrist active in Democratic politics.

        • Jay Huber of Verona, a factory worker and the former president of the Kentucky Motorcyclists Association, where he served as the group's top Frankfort lobbyist and political organizer.

        • Mike Lyons of Florence, a lawyer and member of the Boone County Democratic Executive Committee.

        A fourth Democrat, Don Davis of Walton, a former county commissioner and the owner of an auto dealership in Richwood, submitted his application on his own, according to Howard Tankersley, vice chairman of the Boone County Democratic Party.

        The Boone County GOP nominated:

        • Tim Alexander of Richwood, an insurance agent who has volunteered in the campaigns of Republican candidates.

        • Mike Duncan of Florence, a lawyer familiar with local government through his work representing several cities in Northern Kentucky.

        • Robert Ries of Burlington, a member of the Boone County Planning Commission.

        Mr. Patton, a Democrat, does not have to appoint anyone from the lists submitted by the parties, but he is expected to do so.

        Republicans have called for Mr. Patton to appoint a member of the GOP to the commission. They argue that the seat was held by a Republican and that Boone County is the largest county in the state controlled by the GOP.

Democrat expected
        But Mr. Tankersley said he anticipates Mr. Patton appointing a Democrat.

        The last time there was an opening on the all-Republican Boone Fiscal Court — March of 2000 — Mr. Patton appointed a Democrat.

        But that Democrat, Lance Lucas of Richwood, the son of U.S. Rep. Ken Lucas, failed to win election in November, falling to Republican Charlie Kenner.


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