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Salyersville Independent

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Howard now mayor-elect after court judgment

SALYERSVILLE – The judge in the mayoral contest case issued an order on Monday, ruling in favor of Stanley Howard.

On November 28, Magoffin County Circuit Court Judge Kim Childers issued a ruling in the case where Mayor James “Pete” Shepherd was contesting his opponent and Mayor-Elect Stanley Howard’s qualifications for running for mayor.

In her order, Judge Childers noted that Stanley Howard’s address was not contested in the testimony, nor was the fact that he had served as mayor while living at that address. The court accepted the maps containing the 67 acres of property which includes Howard’s residence. She also accepted that the certified copies of real and motor vehicle property tax records for the City of Salyersville from 2004 through 2022, stating that those records verify the fact that Howard resides in the City of Salyersville.

Under Conclusions of Law, Judge Childers wrote, “That the Defendant Stanley Howard is qualified to be the Mayor of the City of Salyersville, Kentucky, and was duly elected Mayor by a majority of the votes cast in the November 8, 2022, City of Salyersville Mayoral election.”

Childers dismissed Shepherd’s petition and ordered that the Magoffin County Board of Elections certify the results of the mayor’s race.

The judgment is final and appealable, with Shepherd indicating he is considering appealing.

In the November 8 election, Stanley Howard won by 10 votes against James “Pete” Shepherd on election night, with the court previously holding the results until this matter is resolved. Shepherd has held the position of mayor for 11 years, being voted into the office by the council after Howard resigned from the position in 2011. The two went head-to-head in a special election later that year, with Shepherd winning, and he has won every subsequent bid for re-election since first taking office, with the exclusion of the election held on November 8.

According to KRS 83A.040, which deals with the qualifications of a mayoral candidate: “A mayor shall be elected by the voters of each city at a regular election. A candidate for mayor shall be a resident of the city for not less than one (1) year prior to his or her election. His term of office shall begin on the first day of January following his election and shall be for four (4) years and until his successor qualifies. If a person is elected or appointed as mayor in response to a vacancy and serves less than four (4) calendar years, then that period of service shall not be considered for purposes of re-election a term of office. A mayor shall be at least twenty-one (21) years of age, shall be a qualified voter in the city, and shall reside in the city throughout his term of office.”


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