District Six Magistrate Chris Harris was challenged by Gary Thacker. Harris kept his seat on the court by 17 percentage points, 1472 to 1056.
The campaign had garnered attention statewide when a political action group, Citizens for Eastern Kentucky Government, aired TV commercials accusing Harris of participating in questionable spending as a member of the Kentucky Association of Counties. The ad was subsequently pulled after its validity was questioned.
Harris has called for an audit of Mountain Water District, the company that supplies water and sewage to most of the county, and was created by the Fiscal Court. MWD has been facing financial difficulties, and Harris said he felt an audit by Kentucky State Auditor Crit Luellen’s office was warranted. He said he felt his victory in the election was largely due to his tenacity with Mountain Water. He spoke to the Daily News at the Belfry Courthouse, where he was hosting a party in the Senior Citizens Center.
“This election is a referendum on cleaning up Mountain Water District,” Harris said. “As well as the fight for accountability and transparency in the operations of that organization.”
As for the campaign against him, Harris said the election results were proof that voters recognized honesty.
“When you deal in the truth, nobody who has acted honorable and ethically has anything to fear,” the magistrate said.
Gary Thacker could not be reached for comment.