Trisler is new Mercer County judge-executive

September 26, 2003|ANN R. HARNEY

HARRODSBURG - John D. Trisler is the new Mercer County judge-executive.

His swearing-in ceremony took place quietly Thursday afternoon at the Mercer County Fiscal Court offices.

Usually cheerful events with lots of smiles, happy handshakes and hugs, the participants and witnesses this time did not want to forget they were there because of the death of a man many called their friend.

Gov. Paul Patton named Trisler to the job to replace the late Charles McGinnis, who lost his 2 1/2-year battle with cancer Saturday.

"It's a difficult time," said Trisler. "I've known Charlie a long time.'' He said several friends had talked to him about taking the job as judge-executive when McGinnis' death seemed imminent. "I refused to talk about it."


"Charlie was a good friend. That's why this day is not a celebration. ... If it weren't for people asking me to consider this, we would not be here. I wish Charlie was here instead of me."

After McGinnis' death, Trisler said he would consider taking the job. He said the three most important things in his life are God, his family and the citizens of this area. For that reason, he asked the Rev. Rick Snyder, youth and education minister at Harrodsburg Baptist Church and Eddie Russell, music minister at Harrodsburg Baptist, to be present at the ceremony.

"I don't think I knew (if I was going to take the job) until this morning," Trisler said.

Standing beside him during the swearing-in ceremony were his wife Kay and his grandson Jonathan. Mercer Circuit Judge Darren Peckler conducted the swearing in.

At 61, this is the first political office Trisler has held, and he stressed he is no politician. The governor appoints someone to the job when there is a vacancy and that person holds the job until the next general election.

Because this year's general election is just a little more than a month away, Trisler will hold the judge-executive's job until November 2004.

Candidates for the job must file for election in January. If more than one candidate from each party files, a primary will be held in May. Trisler indicated he would be filing for the office in January. "I did not take the job for a one-year term," he said.

Trisler brings to the job skills he learned during the 32 years he worked for IBM and Lexmark in Lexington. "Manufacturing and engineering are my background," he said, but other skills - dealing with people, finances and his love of farming and his understanding of farmers - will serve him best in the job of judge-executive, he said.

"People skills count in this job."

Ann R. Harney can be reached at

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