Two GOP Candidates Emerge for Vacant Senate Seat

Garrard County Judge-Executive John Wilson and a Nicholasville realtor Jonah Mitchell are seeking the Republican nomination to fill the unexpired term of the late Sen. Tom Buford, R-Nicholasville.

Buford unexpectedly passed away July 6 at the age of 72 while working in Florida.

The news on the two candidates was first reported by the Jessamine Journal. Wilson told the newspaper that Buford was not planning on running for re-election in 2022, and it was Buford’s desire to see Wilson replace him in the seat he held since 1991.

“I was planning on stepping back from politics and not running again for judge/executive to focus on the important work we are doing with addiction recovery at Crown Recovery Center,” Wilson told the Jessamine Journal. “But when Sen. Buford asked me to be his successor, it really got me thinking, and I was honored. Ultimately, I decided that it presented an opportunity for me to take the experience I’ve gained over the last 15 years to try and be a part of finding solutions in Frankfort to the problems that confront our state.”

Jonah Mitchell, also laid claim to Buford for his interest in politics.

“I have served in many roles – as a community leader and as a business owner – that have allowed me to lead and to give back,” Mitchell said. “My life’s ambition is to be a servant leader, and I’ve done that. I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many people, and I had the privilege to be a friend of Tom Buford.

Gov. Andy Beshear, D-Kentucky, has not yet issued an order setting a date for a special election to fill the remainder of Buford’s term. Both the Democratic and Republican parties in the five counties (Fayette (Part), Garrard, Jessamine, Mercer, Washington) of the district will meet to select nominees to run in the 22nd Senate District in the special election.