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MAGISTRATE: Ken Franks

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By Lisa King

Ken Franks of Bagdad is running for magistrate in District 4, the seat being vacated by Cordy Armstrong, who is retiring.

Franks, 47, is retired from a career in state government and now is working part-time at Clore-Argri-Co. on Eminence Pike.

Franks never has run for office before, but said he felt the time was right to do so.

"I have been in public service all my life, and it just seemed like a good time to do it," he said.

Franks, a 10-year volunteer firefighter with the Bagdad Fire Department, worked for the Environmental Protection Cabinet and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture for 23 years.

A graduate of the University of Kentucky, with a B.S. in Production Agriculture and a minor in Agriculture Economics, he helped to establish the Environmental Protection Cabinet to implement universal garbage collection and recycling programs across the state.

He said that while working in the Department of Agriculture he gained further knowledge of the lawmaking process, and he added that his farming background with tobacco, hay and other crops helps him understand the issues faced by local farmers.

"Although I have farmed my whole life, I have worked my own farm for the past 12 years raising tobacco and hay," he said. "In addition, my experience with the Department of Agriculture provides insight into how the state legislation can support farmers."

Franks said that if elected, he has four main goals in mind: no new taxes, better roads, economic development and greater voter input.

"The next four years will be very difficult times," he said. "The county is receiving decreased revenues due to the depressed economy. You do not need me to tell you that times are hard. Tax and spend will not work in this economy. Instead, I will advocate more for less. We will be forced to make do with what we have."

He said he would also like to see continued improvement in the area of emergency services.

Franks and his wife, Carol, a former teacher in Shelby County, have one son, Kenny, a junior at Georgia Tech.

For more information, visit wwww.kenfranksformagistrate.com.