Commissioner Rita Smart is the first incumbent to file for the May 2010 primary election, and another new candidate also has filed for a seat on the commission.

Even though Smart said her personal life is busy, she is going to press on in hopes of receiving another term.

“I have plenty to do as a business owner and a member of a wonderful family, but I feel I owe it to the large number of voters who supported me in the past,” said Smart, who made her official campaign announcement Wednesday.

Smart received the majority (17.34 percent) of the votes cast for the 2008 city commission election, pushing long-time commissioner Kay Cosby Jones off the commission.

Smart, 60, is retired from the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service and now operates The Bennett House Bed and Breakfast at 419 W. Main Street.

“Much progress has been made this year toward improved fiscal and management oversight for our city,” she said. “There is much that I cherish about Richmond’s past, but we must look to the future and take our place as one of the great cities of our commonwealth. We do that by sound fiscal management, a commitment to employee development, commitment to develop and abide by a comprehensive plan for the city and active participation by citizens and elected leaders in achieving these goals.”

One idea Smart would like to see flourish is a regular event called “Conversations with Commissioners.”

Doug Parker, 40, has been a Richmond resident for 20 years and was a part of the 2008 election for city commissioner.

Parker serves as the assistant director of facilities for the Lexington Clinic and is an Eastern Kentucky University graduate with a major in political science.

“I’ve always been interested in politics, especially at the local and state levels,” he said. “This is a good time to jump in. I think it’s wide open for anybody, so I took this opportunity to run.”

If elected, Parker said he would start with working on the city’s finances.

“The budget needs to be set in place,” he said. “We need to get back to a balanced budget.”

Oversight of all city departments and the capital projects therein should be a top priority of commissioners, Parker said.

Another issue Parker would like to address is making sure that all bids for city work are awarded fairly.

“I would like to see a policy put in place to where family (of city employees/government leaders) and friends of family are not allowed to bid contracts,” he said. “I think Richmond has ignored that over the past 20 years.”

Arthur G. Pace, 62, was the first city commission candidate to file on Monday, Dec. 14.

The following is a list of 2010 election candidates according to Wednesday’s roster from the Madison County Clerk’s Office:

• County attorney: T. Marcum “Marc” Robbins, Democrat

• County clerk: Francette Durbin, Democrat; Lisa A. Davis, Democrat; Joey Fritz, Democrat; Kenny Barger, Republican

• County judge/executive: Benny Biggs, Democrat; Kent Clark, Democrat; Troy Lane, Democrat

• County coroner: Jimmy Cornelison, Democrat

• Jailer: Doug Thomas, Democrat; Patrick Allan Begley, Democrat; Steve Gregg, Democrat

• Magistrate, 1st District: Larry L. Combs, Democrat; Greg Lakes, Republican

• Magistrate, 2nd District: Wayne S. Long, Democrat; Roger D. Barger, Republican

• Magistrate, 3rd District: Robert E. Murphy, Democrat; John C. Tudor, Democrat; Harold Botner, Democrat; Ralph Oliver Jr., Democrat

• Magistrate, 4th District: Bruce B. Begley, Democrat; Jack Marcum, Democrat; Mike Isaacs, Democrat; Cory Erdmann, Democrat; Greg King, Republican

• Property Valuation Administrator: Billy Ackerman, Democrat

• Richmond Mayor (Non-partisan): Jim Barnes

• Richmond City Commissioner (Non-partisan): Arthur G. Pace, Rita Smart, Doug Parker

• Sheriff: Nelson E. O’Donnell, Democrat

• Constable, 1st District: J.B. Marcum, Democrat

• Constable, 2nd District: James E. House, Democrat; David Kelley, Democrat, Steven Kelly, Republican

• Constable, 3rd District: Bruce Thomas, Democrat; Richard Williamson, Democrat; Bill Goosey, Democrat

• Constable, 4th District: John Wright, Democrat; Billy Mitchell Sparks, Democrat; Gary Payne, Democrat

Ronica Shannon can be reached at or 624-6608.

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