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While other states as small or smaller than Kentucky have played a large role in the presidential candidate winnowing process, it does not look like local voters will have much to pick from in the state's May 20 primary.
"It's watered down because our primary is so late," said Shelby County Republican party chair Charles Bates. "Still, what the voters do here in Kentucky they will want to see nationally. But I don't know how much that will stimulate the vote."
Bates predicts the primary turnout could be 18 percent or less of registered voters. If by some chance, the Republican presidential campaign is still up in the air, Bates said his internal polling suggests Huckabee and Romney are ahead of McCain locally.
"I think they like the fact that they are governors," Bates said.
Bates' counterpart on the Democratic side, Nathan Riggs, holds out hope that the Democratic race for president will still be undecided by May 20. In that case, Riggs said, Kentucky voters could play a key role in the selection and the state could be in the media limelight.
"I would love to see that," Riggs said. "It would mean so much for the Kentucky Democratic party for them to come here and actually campaign. It all depends upon Super Tuesday. I'm hoping the Democratic race runs forever."
Riggs said presidential candidate Barack Obama is attracting voters "who do not ordinarily vote and that's good for us."
Riggs said there may even be a chance that the fight for the presidential nomination on the Democratic side goes to a battle for delegates at the convention floor, something that has not happened in 40 years.
County Clerk Sue Carole Perry said the presidential primary ballot in Kentucky will have the names of every candidate who is still in the race as of Feb. 19. On that date, the secretary of state certifies the ballot and it goes to press; candidates' names will then be on the ballot even if they later withdraw from the race.
If the presidential contest is already decided before May 20, local voters from both parties will have only the race for the 2nd Congressional District seat to serve as a drawing card.
On the Republican side, two have filed to replace Congressman Ron Lewis who made a last-minute departure from the fray. His aide, Daniel London, from Shepherdsville, is running; state Sen. Brett Guthrie, from Bowling Green, is also in the race.
The Democrats also have two to choose from, both from Daviess County - state Sen. David Boswell and Daviess Judge-Executive Reid Haire.
U. S. Sen. Mitch McConnell will be on the ballot in November, but he has no challenger in the May primary. Democrats have a slew of candidates lined up to face him, but the only potential foe who has run a statewide race is Louisville businessman Bruce Lunsford.
Locally, it is the same story - the November races shape up to be hot, but on the primary ballot nobody is home. Both state Rep. Brad Montell and Bill Young are unchallenged in the May primary for the 58th state House seat. There are no other countywide races in '08.
In the city of Shelbyville, Democrats got just enough candidates - six - to give them a shot at winning all six seats on the city council but not enough to have a primary. Only Jon Swindler will represent the Republicans in November.
Simpsonville city commissioners will also be on the November ballot, but because the race for commission is non-partisan, there is no primary election. The filing deadline for that race is not until August.
"I think it's going to be a fun year," Riggs said.
But around here, the "fun" may just be longer in coming.