Keesee, a Belfry native who now lives in Phelps, is the longest serving sheriff in the history of Kentucky. He was elected to his first term in 1960, succeeding his father, Sheriff Moss Keesee.
Since sheriffs could not succeed themselves until after 1984, Sheriff Keesee served three straight nonconsecutive terms, 1961-65, 1970-74 and 1978-82. The Sheriff was then re-elected in 1985 and has stayed in the sheriff’s office since.
It was Keesee’s initiative to require all paid deputies to undergo training at the police academy and receive 40 hours of continuous training every year. The Sheriff also took the initiative to require all deputies to wear a uniform and implemented a communication system including radios, in-car cameras and laptops.
Keesee has served several times on the Kentucky Sheriff’s Association Board of Directors, serving one term as president and spent some time on the Rules and Regulations Committee for the National Sheriff’s Association.
“More than just being Pike County’s sheriff, I have considered myself a friend to all Pike Countians. I decided to seek another term as sheriff because I still believe I can continue making a positive difference in keeping our communities safe and happy,” Keesee said.
Pike County Clerk Lillian Pearl Elliott, a Dorton native, began working in the Pike County Clerk’s Office in 1944. She first ran for clerk in 1985. She won that race and has been county clerk ever since.
Customer service, efficient response and friendliness have been hallmarks of Elliott’s tenure as Pike County Clerk. She is universally beloved as a tireless public official who works late hours to tend to the needs of her office. The light in her office is usually the last one to be turned off at the courthouse.
Through her long tenure as county clerk, Elliott has implemented practices and procedures that insure the most responsible and up-to-date accounting of public money and also the most current election procedure that is followed in the Commonwealth.
“As long as the Lord gives me the strength, and the people give me their blessing, I am pleased to go on serving the citizens of Pike County as their county clerk,” Elliott said.
Rutherford, from Shelbiana, will seek an unprecedented sixth term as the chief executive of Kentucky’s largest and most mineral-rich county. First elected in 1969, Rutherford has been deemed the father of the coal severance tax, which has brought over $1 billion to Pike County since its inception, providing the base for the county’s development.
During Rutherford’s first three terms in office, from 1970 to 1982, he worked to establish the county-wide solid waste collection and disposal system, to create the Pike County Library System, the first Pike County Industrial Commission and to establish the county’s first organized road department. Rutherford’s efforts also fostered the development of the county’s first industrial park, implementation of the county’s current 911 emergency system, along with putting the county’s first public landfill in operation and construction of the first public housing in Pike County. He also spearheaded county-wide fire protection and helped to establish the area calling system so that citizens would not have to pay long-distance fees to make calls within the county.
Current and more recent projects that have materialized under Rutherford’s administration include bringing EQT, a Pittsburg-based natural gas company, to Pike County. EQT is in the process of making a piece of land on the new U.S. 119 at Scott Fork its regional headquarters.
Rutherford has trademarked Pike County’s motto as “America’s Energy Capital” and several of the current projects are energy related and will create jobs and revenue for the county, such as the garbage-to-ethanol plant being planned on Ford Mountain. Pike County’s methane sequestration project is under way and carbon sequestration is viable in the near future.
“Pike County is at crucial time in the history of our development. We are on the road to making so many great things happen to secure our future and economic well-being. But to do this, we must be in a position to continue our work. That is why I am seeking re-election as county judge/executive,” Rutherford said. “We are a progressive county – the most progressive in Eastern Kentucky — and it is vital that we keep progressing as we