GRAVES COUNTY, KY -
There are some unusual circumstances in a local county causing confusion ahead of the May primary. Around this time, people running for office are usually stressing the qualifications and values that set them apart, but one man is counting on what he has in common with another candidate to get people to the polls on election day.
There's nothing unusual about candidates going door to door during a campaign, or using yard signs to advertise who they are and what they're running for. "I am going to be a candidate for city council," said Johnny Jackson. "I'm running for county commission district two," said Johnny Jackson. That's one difference between two men who are admittedly a lot alike.
"We are similar in age. We've been in Graves County all of our lives, and we have wives who have the same name," sand Jackson. On top of that, "We got the same name," said the other Jackson.
Johnny Jackson and Johnny Jackson ask for your vote in an election Graves County Clerk Barry Kennemore said has turned out to be anything but usual. "This is the first time I've ever had anybody with this similar a name." Their applications for candidacy do show a distinction. One Johnny included a middle initial. Kennemore said, "But if people know them, they'll know that both of them have the same middle initial."
Johnny Louis and Johnny Lee are friends who also share some of the same politics. "I've talked to Johnny several times about getting elected, what he sees in the future for Mayfield and Graves County, and I have the same ideals with him on that," said the Jackson running for county commissioner.
As for a few differences, Johnny Lee said, "He says I'm the pretty one and he's the real one so we'll leave it at that." He has served as Mayfield City Commissioner since the 90s and now wants to move on to the county level. This is Johnny Louis' first try. He's seeking a seat on city council and said he's glad to have a little name recognition on his side. "With the name Johnny Jackson, you just can't go wrong. So, why not go for it," he said.
The two are such good friends, Johnny Lee actually gave Johnny Louis his old yard signs that say "Elect Johnny Jackson City Councilman" instead of letting them go to waste.
The Johnny Jackson running for county commissioner will be on the ballot for the primary in May. If he wins, he and the Johnny Jackson running for city commissioner will both be on the ballot in November.