Fayette County Sheriff Witt to seek fifth term; former military police officer also files

jwarren@herald-leader.comDecember 23, 2013 

It looks as if there will be a competitive race for Fayette County sheriff in 2014.

Incumbent Sheriff Kathy Witt has filed as a Democrat to seek a fifth term as sheriff, and newcomer Brian S. Potters has filed to run as a Republican.

The filing deadline for candidates is 4 p.m. Jan. 28, according to the Fayette County Board of Elections.

Potters, 29, a Marine military police officer before moving to Lexington in 2009, has never run for office. Witt has been sheriff since first winning election in 1998.

After moving to Lexington from Quantico, Va., Potters spent about a year working for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. He later operated his own company, Colonels Limousine, in Lexington.

He said his interest in law enforcement grew out of his six years of experience as a military police officer in the Marines. Potters said he received extensive training in military and law enforcement techniques and equipment.

"I had never been to Lexington before, but I fell in love with the town and I don't want to leave," he said. "Everything has worked out well and everyone has been great to me."

Witt, Kentucky's only female sheriff and Fayette County's longest-serving sheriff, announced over the weekend that she has filed for re-election.

"I am humbled to have served the citizens of Lexington-Fayette County, a community that I love and have raised my family in, and would be honored to continue to serve as Fayette County sheriff," she said in a statement.

A native of Frankfort, Witt came to Lexington to study biology at the University of Kentucky. A part-time job at the Fayette County jail led her to a position with the county sheriff's office.

Witt became a chief deputy with the department, and she was named Kentucky deputy sheriff of the year in 1997. She ran for sheriff the following year and won the Democratic primary. Because no Republican had filed, she automatically became sheriff. Witt has held the office ever since.

Witt is a member of the Kentucky Veterans Task Force and the new Fayette County Veterans Treatment Court. She chairs both the National Sheriffs Association Domestic Violence Committee and the Lexington Domestic Violence Prevention Board. She also is first vice chairwoman of the FBI's CJIS Advisory Policy Board.

Jim Warren: (859) 231-3255. Twitter: @hlpublicsafety.

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