Incumbent and Former Sheriff Compete for Simpson County Judge-Exec

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FRANKLIN, Ky. (WBKO) -- It's a race to sit in the office behind these two doors of the Simpson County courthouse.

One man has done it for 16 years, The other is a former Simpson County Sheriff.

Under his tenure, Judge-Executive Jim Henderson watched the county he leads grow.

"Simpson County was just recently recognized as being the sixth fastest growing population in the state in the last census. So that's all very encouraging and I enjoy being a part of those kind of things," said Simpson County Judge-Executive Jim Henderson.

Former Sheriff Joe Palma is running for his seat and he doesn't think Henderson has done a good job.

"I've seen a lot of things that doesn't exactly satisfy me. I'm sure it doesn't satisfy a lot of the people that live here in Franklin and Simpson County," said Simpson County Judge-Executive candidate Joe Palma.

However, Palma, while his court record may be clean now, he could have to win the battle in the court of public opinion to get elected.

Ten years ago he got diversion for two felony charges and a misdemeanor while Sheriff.

He spoke with WBKO about the tough time in his life.

"There's a lot to what happened to what didn't come out, but as far as I'm concerned I was vindicated on that. My record was expunged," said Palma.

While that incident is in the past, an issue that's very much in the present in Simpson County is the rock quarry.

"Quite frankly, I'm not sure I would have had an opponent without that issue," said Henderson.

A local construction company's building of a rock quarry has divided the community.

Both men said you have to do what's best for the people.

"You've got to decide, how do I best represent the community's interest and the most people as possible, and this issue I really believe the best interest of the community supersedes the financial and potential business interest of this one individual," said Henderson.

"I think the quarry is going to make some jobs, get some opportunities to people to be able to purchase materials here locally. It keeps your money here locally," said Palma.

And here locally, a week from Tuesday, these two men will compete for an office behind these two doors of the Simpson County courthouse.

There is no democrat running in the election, so essentially, whoever wins this primary, will be Simpson County's Judge-Executive.

The election is next May 20th.

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