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Owen County’s district one magistrate candidates took the spotlight Thursday during the first of three local candidate forums for the November election.
Asa Philips, who beat out Daniel Humphries in the May Democratic primary election, and Republican candidate Gary W. Minch participated in the forum.
Despite light attendance, each candidate spoke at length on their views and what they hope to see happen within the county over the next four years.
Phillips, a farmer and business owner with four kids in the Owen County school district, said he decided to run for the magistrate position to help the county in any way he could.
Minch, a veterinarian who previously served as magistrate for two terms and serves on the Owen County Board of Health, said he felt county government was all about balance and deciding which services you can and can’t provide.
Phillips said county government should focus on needs, not wants.
“We really need to find some industry that could provide our young with jobs locally,” Phillips said.
Minch said he felt the county could use a grant writer.
“We’re in a pretty bad situation financially in this county,” Minch said. “Federal government is broke and so is the state so we can’t look for help there. We need to get someone here who can dedicate all of their time to finding ways for this county to get assistance financially.”
Two more candidate forums will be held this month.
The district four magistrate forum will take place at 7 p.m. Oct. 14 at the Monterey Fire House. Ray Smith and Troy Bramblett have both been invited to participate.
Owenton mayor candidates, David “Milkweed” Wotier and Doug West ,and all city council candidates have been invited to attend a forum held at 7 p.m. Oct. 21 at the Owen County Courthouse.