Jerry Gilliam wins Republican bid for Christian County judge-executive

In November, Gilliam will face the incumbent Democrat, Steve Tribble, who is seeking an eighth term in office.

Jerry Gilliam, an agri-businessman who currently serves as a county magistrate, beat out three other candidates seeking the Republican nomination for Christian County judge-executive in Tuesday’s primary. He will face the incumbent Democrat, Steve Tribble, in the November general election. 

Jerry Gilliam headshot
Jerry Gilliam

Gilliam received 1,166 votes with 36.56% of the total among the Republicans. His closest challenger was Dan Mason with 728 votes, followed by Tommy McGraw (578) and Katie Moyer (405). 

“I think we had a very positive message — a message about a business approach to county government,” said Gilliam. 

He believes voters responded to his pledge to approach the future in a “strategic way” so the county can achieve growth through economic development and housing expansion. 

Gilliam attributed his win to a strong social media campaign, yard signs and attending as many community events as possible. 

In the next round, he’ll contend with one of Christian County’s most successful campaigners. 

Tribble, who was first elected in 1994, is seeking his eighth term in office. He did not have a primary challenger. 

In his announcement last fall to seek another term in office, Tribble downplayed the importance of party affiliation in county matters. 

“I have learned that most problems facing local government do not have a Democratic or Republican solution,” he said in a written statement. “These problems have a commonsense solution. It takes a combination of hard work, common sense and a sense of cooperation to find responsible solutions.”

Tuesday’s primary also included three contest races for county magistrate:

Christian County Magistrate

4th District


Darrell Gustafson*37246.44%
✔ J.E. Pryor42953.56%

County Magistrate – 6th District


✔ Phillip Peterson*18277.78%
James McKnight5222.22%

County Magistrate – 7th District


Michael Walker15032.61%
✔ Russ Guffey31067.39%

Jerry Gilliam wins Republican bid for Christian County judge-executive

Jennifer P. Brown | Hoptown Chronicle

Jennifer P. Brown is co-founder, publisher and editor of Hoptown Chronicle. You can reach her at She spent 30 years as a reporter and editor at the Kentucky New Era. She is a co-chair of the national advisory board to the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, governing board president for the Kentucky Historical Society, and co-founder of the Kentucky Open Government Coalition.