Joe P. Asher
The Harlan County Fiscal Court has a new magistrate.
Delbert Stephens, of Coldiron, has been appointed to represent the county’s 5th District. Stephens will fill the seat recently vacated by Delzina Belcher, who resigned due to health reasons. Belcher had been serving out the unexpired term of the late Jim Roark, who passed away while in office.
Gov. Steve Beshear appointed Stephens to serve out the remainder of the term.
According to previous reports, Stephens was the winner of the Democratic primary for the office in May, bringing in 325 votes. Stephens defeated James Howard, who received 205 votes, and Leroy Saylor, who brought in 129 votes.
In an interview Wednesday, Stephens gave his reaction to the news.
“First of all, let me say that there will be an election in November,” said Stephens. “In the meantime, the people of the 5th District needed representation.”
According to Stephens, there is a lot to be done.
“I appreciate the governor having the confidence in me. There is still work to be done and people need someone to call on. There’s several projects, day to day operations, that need to be took care of,” said Stephens.
Stephens pointed out the 5th District has been without representation before.
“We went such a long time before without representation that we didn’t want to go through that again,” said Stephens.
Stephens explained he got the news from Harlan County Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop’s Office.
“The governor’s office called the judge-executive’s office,” said Stephens. “It (the appointment) was effective immediately.”
Stephens will serve until a newly elected magistrate takes over the position after the upcoming election in November.
“I’ll work hard for the people of the 5th District until the election is decided,” said Stephens.
The winner of the Republican primary, Mary Ann “Sissy” Niday, will be running for the seat against Stephens. Previous reports state Niday won the Republican primary with a total of 178 votes, edging out her closest opposition, Scott Moore, who pulled in 62 votes.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510 or firstname.lastname@example.org