Fayette County Sheriff Kathy Witt easily won her Democratic primary on Tuesday, according to unofficial results from the county clerk’s office with all precincts reporting.
Witt won the election over Democratic candidate Thomas “Tucker” Bulleit in a comfortable margin, receiving 85% of the 28,600 casted votes. Bulleit received the other 15% of votes.
“I’m tremendously honored and humbled that the voters here in Fayette County would come out today to show their continued trust, not only in myself but our team and to show their support,” Witt said after the results were revealed.
Witt said it was humbling that she got 85% of the votes. She said she wasn’t sure what to expect, and that the 19% overall voter turnout had her wondering how the results would pan out.
“Having worked in elections for several years, of course I was a little concerned that the turnout could change the dynamics a little bit,” Witt said. “Did I think I would get 85%? I don’t know that I really thought that or not. I do feel tremendously supported by our community and I’m very thankful for the turnout we got and the number we got.”
Despite the loss, Bulleit said he was proud of the work he and his team put in to their campaign. He said he had hundreds of friends and supporters at his election watch party, which shows how much backing he and his campaign had, he said.
“While my team did not win, we made a fantastic effort this spring, and I could not have been happier with the reception,” Bulleit said. “We made a difference. We got an incumbent to actually get outside her office and start doorknocking.”
Witt said she and her team will take a break from the campaign trail for a few days before gearing up for November’s general election, where she’ll go up against Republican candidate Christopher Holliday. He was the only Republican who has filed to run for Fayette County sheriff.
The general election is set for Nov. 8, 2022.
Witt was first elected as the sheriff in 1998 after her predecessor, Harold Buchignani, retired. She is the first and only female to serve as sheriff in Fayette County and has held the position since first being elected in 1998.
Witt has worked in every division and at every rank within the Office of the Fayette County Sheriff. She has spent her entire career, 39 years in total, working in the criminal justice system.
During her 24-year tenure as sheriff, she has started several programs and initiatives in an attempt to better the community, such as the Amanda Center, a 24-hour point of contact for domestic violence victims.
Witt, a mother of two children, is also the chair for the Federal Bureau of Investigation CJIS Advisory Policy Board and the Federal Bureau of Investigation CJIS Law Enforcement Suicide Data Collection Task Force .
This was Bulleit’s first time running for office. He has spent most of his adult life working for Bulleit Land and Cattle in Paris, where he manages 320 head of cattle and 500 acres of soybeans and non-GMO corn.
He also worked as an intern for a Lexington federal judge from 2008 to 2009. Bulleit is the son of Tom Bulleit, who founded the Bulleit bourbon brand.