Jimmy Kent Wilson of Olmstead filed on Monday and Chris Hightower of Auburn filed on Tuesday. Both are registered as Republicans and will oppose Logan County magistrate Jo Orange, also of Auburn, in the May primary.
District 16 includes all of Logan and Todd counties and a portion of southwest Warren County.
There will be no incumbent in the race as Democrat Martha Jane King has filed to run instead for state senate. She has held that seat for the past two terms.
Tom Noe is the only Democrat currently filed to run. The deadline was to be Monday but a court ruling has pushed the deadline back at least one week.
Both Wilson and Hightower are newcomers to the political scene and have not run for office before.
“I’ve always been interested in and followed the political process,” Wilson said. “At this point in our state, I think we need more people with the conservative values that I hold dear to put themselves in those positions.”
Hightower said he wanted to run because he is passionate about the political process and wants more people to be involved.
“Early this week I looked and only 140 people had filed to run for the 100 state rep seats,” he said. “That’s disheartening a little bit. I think the process is skewed and there is not enough participation at the voter and candidate level. I also just want to try and bring a more independent mindset to the race instead of everyone just giving the tired talking points most people use.”
Wilson said one of the main things he supports is infrastructure development – especially in telecommunications in rural areas like Logan and Todd counties.
“Another that I and big on is having a business friendly environment,” Wilson said. “I want the state to encourage and support established businesses, as well as making it favorable for new businesses to look at our area to establish in.”
Hightower is passionate about the state’s budget deficit.
“One of the main reasons I wanted to run is because I am afraid that will just be glossed over and not talked about,” Hightower said.
Both Hightower and Wilson are in favor of limiting government.
“I am against any tax increases and am not going to be in favor of expanding government,” Wilson said. “I want to limit the government’s footprint.”
While he has never ran for office himself, Hightower has been involved in the election process. He worked for Rand Paul‘s successful campaign for U.S. Senate.
Hightower is married with four children. He graduated from Logan County High School and studied economy at both Western Kentucky University and Mises University in Alabama.
Wilson is married with three children. He is a lifelong resident of southwest Logan County and graduated from LCHS in 1985 and Austin Peay State University in 1989.
“One of the things I am most excited about is meeting a lot people I don’t know,” Wilson said. “That’s something I am looking forward to.”