Hardin bids to become county judge

-A A +A
By The Staff

MOUNT WASHINGTON - For the next couple of months, it won’t be difficult to find a candidate for the office of Bullitt County Judge/Executive in the courthouse.

Incumbent Melanie Roberts has filed her intentions to run for a second term and David Strange, director of the Bullitt County History Museum, located in the courthouse, has filed for the Democratic nomination.

Add Kenny Hardin, director of the Bullitt County Drug Task Force, with its office in the courthouse, as the latest candidate to file.

Hardin, a retired Kentucky State Police trooper, has filed for the Democratic nomination.

Hardin and Strange join former Shepherdsville mayor Joe Sohm as the Democrats who have filed intentions. Former deputy judge Depp Rasner and Roberts have filed on the Republican side.

“I’m not a politician but I will promise to work hard every day,” said Hardin, 62.

Hardin, a native who started his police career at the city of Shepherdsville in 1972, said he never intended to get involved in politics.

However, as he neared retirement at the end of this year as the director of the drug task force, more people started to inquire about his candidacy as county judge.

“I’m too young to sit at home,” said Hardin. “And I think I can make a difference.”

While not serving in the judge’s seat, Hardin said the past eight years as leader of the task force has given him valuable experience. He’s been responsible for grant writing to the tune of over $1 million and he has had to prepare budgets.

He’s also been able to watch how local government works.

“It opens your eyes how county government has to function,” said Hardin.

During his KSP career, Hardin had the chance to serve as supervisor and deal with managing people.

“You need to deal with state officials, federal officials and local officials,” said Hardin. “I think I can do that.”

One of the big issues locally has been the working relationships in county government. To be successful, Hardin said all the players have to be on the same team.

“There has to be open communication,” said Hardin. “If not, this thing won’t work.”

One of the first goals Hardin will tackle is taking a comprehensive look at the county’s budget situation. This would include looking at the revenue and the expenditures of all departments.

No matter the winner next fall, Hardin believes this is a task that must be accomplished.

Second, he would like to work with all officials in Bullitt County to look at issues and determine how to push the community forward in a positive manner.

And, third, he would like to see what excess property the county owns and see if it could be sold for added revenue.

While the campaign still has a long way to go, Hardin said he tells people that he’s not a politician but he is a person who can lead the county for the next four years.

He works under the premise that getting advice from others is a good thing.

Finally, Hardin said he hopes his trust and integrity shown over the past 40 years will make him a viable candidate.

“We need to be honest and open with the people,” said Hardin.

Well before deciding to run for his first political office, Hardin knew he would retire. Originally, he planned to do it this summer but agreed to stay around until the end of 2009.

While traveling and fishing were to take up his retirement time, Hardin will now devote that free time to campaigning.