Hughes & Coleman Hometown Hero: Mike Buchanon

For nearly 30 years, Judge Executive Mike Buchanon has served the people of Warren County to make it a place that everyone can call home.
Published: Dec. 23, 2022 at 7:15 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - For nearly 30 years, Mike Buchanon has served Warren County as Judge Executive, touching the lives of everyone that has ever lived or visited.

He has overseen the growth and development of the area, making it one of the most rapidly growing counties in the state of Kentucky.

Warren County is one of the few counties in Kentucky that is continuing to grow. With its low tax rates, low cost of living, and high quality of life, it is an ideal place for people to live and do business. Much of that prosperity has developed under Judge Buchanon.

Born in Allen County, he and his family moved to Bowling Green when he was seven years old. After graduating from Western Kentucky University, he started a business and became involved with the Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce. Politics was not originally part of his plan.

“When we heard that Judge Griffin wasn’t going to run for reelection, we started looking for someone to run,” said Judge Buchanon. “Finally, my friends turned to me and said, ‘why don’t you run?’ and I thought well I’m not sure I can win in this county because I grew up here and everybody knows me.”

That year of campaigning taught Mike Buchanon what his responsibilities as Judge Executive would look like, and he was elected for the job at the end of 1993.

It was a memorable year for the newly elected Buchanon when Bowling Green was hit with a blizzard and ice storm within weeks after he took office.

Further demands of the job became evident as the National Guard, called in to assist the area, went to him for direction. His leadership helped the residents of Warren County weather the storm and gain their initial impression of Judge Buchanon.

“Since then, I’ve been through several other natural disasters and a pandemic,” Judge Buchanon said.

These experiences helped him mature and understand the responsibilities that go with the office.

It was in these times after disasters and pandemics that Judge Buchanon was most inspired by the way Warren County citizens came together to rebuild and lift each other up.

He says that it has been his pleasure to work with the people of Warren County over the years.

“It’s a real privilege to get to work for all your friends, neighbors, family members,” Buchanon said, “and every four years, they give you a scorecard or a grade and they let you know whether they want you to continue working for them or not.”

This year, Judge Buchanon decided not to run for reelection and is leaving the Judge Executive job to Doug Gorman. Gorman will take over the office at the beginning of 2023.

Judge Buchanon knows that the prosperity of Warren County isn’t a one-person job and commends the people that continue to help the area thrive.

One of the most recent projects that has been close to Buchanon’s heart is the KY Transpark. He was instrumental in its development, bringing thousands of jobs and dozens of businesses to the area.

He hopes to continue serving the people of Bowling Green and Warren County in his retirement but looks forward to being able to spend more time with his loved ones.

He knows that Warren County will be in good hands after he leaves office.

“It’s really gratifying to see all the people who’ve worked so hard to build this community into what it is today and I’m thankful that I got to be a part of it,” he said.