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Governor to appoint magistrate


FRANKFORT – There is officially a vacancy on the Magoffin County Fiscal Court, with the governor’s office now taking applications for the position.

According to Holly Houillion, the executive administrative secretary for the Office of Governor Matt Bevin, the governor’s office received notice from Magoffin County Court Clerk Renee Arnett-Shepherd that there was a vacancy on the fiscal court on Monday, June 18.

On June 18, a three-judge panel with the Sixth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals affirmed the 2016 conviction of Magoffin County Magistrate Gary “Rooster” Risner, who was found guilty in August 2016 by a federal jury on charges relating to conspiracy to commit vote-buying in the 2014 elections. Since December 2016, Risner has been unable to attend the meetings due to serving time in relation to that case, though the case was pending appeal until last week’s ruling.

Governor Bevin’s office will accept applications for the interim position of Magistrate District 1 until July 18, 2018, eligible clients meeting all requirements of running for office, including living in District 1 for at least one year. 

Those wanting to apply for the position with questions can call Holly Houillion at 502-564-2611 ext. 370, or email her at She said an easy way to apply is through Governor Bevin’s website,, go to the “Boards and Commissions” page to apply for the magistrate position, or print off the application.

With this being an election year, the unexpired term will run through the end of the year, when the next round of county elected officials will be sworn in. 

Democrat Harlen “Sarge” Rowe and Republican Darrel Ray Howard will be on the ballot in the Magistrate District 1 race for the General Election this year.

Houillion confirmed that they have received applications, already, but could not release how many or the names of the applicants.




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