Election 2018: Chidester files for judge-executive

Published 8:29 am Friday, November 17, 2017

Another new face has entered the race for Boyle County judge-executive, as local businessman Gary Chidester filed for the 2018 election.

Chidester, Democrat, at 1999 Quirks Run Road in Danville, filed on Wednesday.

“We’ve got to come together. We’ve got to get where the fiscal court and the city are working together,” he said. “We’ve got to come together and say, ‘What’s best for Danville and Boyle County?’”

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Chidester owns Chidester Landscaping and is the chairman of Hope Network, an organization of pastors and lay persons from area churches joining to fight substance abuse from a faith-based perspective.

He said he’s learned a lot about Danville and Boyle County through his work with the Hope Network. “We’ve got to look at what we’re doing at the jail a little differently,” he said.

Chidester thinks the problem is not that the county needs to spend money expanding the Boyle County Detention Center, but that the county needs to help “treat the people who are coming out of the jail or who are in the jail.”

He does jail ministry, spending time in the detention center each month.

“I see people in the jail each month, (they say), ‘Gary, I just need a chance,’” Chidester said. “We see people coming out of addiction every day.”

He said he believes it’s important to give future generations hope. That includes encouraging teens to find jobs in the community or return to the community after college to work.

“We’re losing so many of our kids, not just to drugs but just to them leaving … Not every kid needs to go to college,” he said, noting that he didn’t.

To teens who want to attend college, he said, “When you get done, look around and see if there are jobs in Danville or Boyle County that you can come home to. We would appreciate it.

“We need kids to stay here. We need to keep them off drugs and show them there’s a life,” Chidester said. “We’ve got to be rooting for them.”

Chidester said he’s “not a politician,” but he has some experience in government, having spent about five years serving on the Danville-Boyle County Planning and Zoning board, serving as chair for two of those years.

As of right now, Chidester has no competition in the primary, but will be facing Lynn Harmon, Republican, in the November general election.

Boyle County Judge-Executive Harold McKinney has said he does not plan to run again.

Also newly filed, Donnie Coffman, Democrat, incumbent, Magistrate District 2, 165 North Lucas Street, Junction City.

The last day to file for the 2018 election will be Jan. 30, 2018; for races in Junction City and Perryville, the last filing day will be in August. 


Boyle County Jailer: Dewayne Taylor, Democrat; Brian Wofford, Democrat

Boyle County Judge-executive: Gary Chidester, Democrat; Lynn Harmon, Republican

Boyle County Sheriff: Christopher Derek Robbins, Democrat

Boyle County Attorney: Christopher K. Herron, Republican

Boyle County Clerk: Trille L. Bottom, Democrat

Circuit Court Clerk: Cortney Shewmaker, Democrat

Boyle County Magistrate, District 2, Donnie Coffman, Democrat, incumbent; District 3, Phillip R. Sammons, Democrat, incumbent; District 4, Jack Hendricks, Democrat, incumbent; District 6, John B. Caywood, Democrat, incumbent

Boyle County Coroner: Don Hamner, Republican, incumbent

Boyle County Property Valuation Administrator: Eddie Tamme, Democrat