Barry Peel eyes run for Garrard judge-executive

June 18, 2004|TIM WISEMAN

LANCASTER - Outside the Garrard County Courthouse on Tuesday night, Barry Peel confirmed that he is considering a run for county judge-executive.

The WKYT, Channel 27, newscaster said he was asked about a possible run for the office by the managing editor of the Garrard Central Record.

"I promised myself that if I ever got into politics, I would always answer questions with straight answers," Peel said. "He asked me, and I told him I am thinking on (running)."

Still, Peel said he would not make any formal announcement until 2006 when the office is up for election, because he would not want to violate "equal time" television regulations for candidates.


A native of Lancaster, Peel has worked on television for 35 years and currently covers Frankfort for WKYT, according to his biography on

Peel was at the courthouse Tuesday for the comprehensive planning meeting, where he spoke in favor of land use regulations. He said he came to the meeting because he heard a rumor that the commission might disband, not to announce any future political plans. "It was not a forum I used to make an announcement," Peel said. "But I wasn't going to lie to him about it once I was asked."

Dick Brunson, chairman of the Garrard County Planning Commission, did not see it that way. Upon learning of Peel's interest in the office of judge-executive, Brunson called Peel's appearance at the meeting an act of "political opportunism." "I just don't think we need political opportunism in Garrard County," Brunson said. "We've got some real serious issues here. The issue is not whether he has a job when he retires from Channel 27."

In his remarks at the meeting, Peel said he hoped to speak up for those who supported land use regulations, a group he felt had been quiet so far.

Brunson said Peel was entitled to his own viewpoint; however, he saw a different motivation for Peel's comments. "He was going after a voluntary group that has no power," Brunson said. "He wanted to marriage this (land use regulations) with his campaign."

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