Friday, October 22, 2010

Bill Bruce Dies: Longtime Christian Co. Magistrate

Magistrate Bill Bruce
 Bill Bruce died this morning in Hopkinsville of an apparent heart attack. Bruce was in his 20th year of service as the Magistrate for District 7. The news came as a shock to Christian County residents and friends around the state. 

Well known Democratic political consultant Dale Emmons said that he had known Bill Bruce for many years and always enjoyed spending time with him on his farm. Emmons said, Bill was a delight to be around and a real gentleman. Bill loved to entertain and I really enjoyed getting to know him more during Bruce Lunsford's campaigns.

Bill Bruce wasn't known for really enjoying politics but he was not shy about going all-in to help friends that were running.  Bruce had remained close friends with Bruce Lunsford since their college days at the University of Kentucky and was always in Lunsford's corner.

Christian County Attorney Mike Foster said that Bruce had a love for horses and believed that interest sparked Bill Bruce's political interest in supporting candidates like Gov. Jones and Bruce Lunsford. Foster who also attended the University of Kentucky with Bruce said, "Bill was a dear friend and very dedicated to county government." Mike Foster recalled Bruce's efforts and commitment to the Christian County Health Department stating that Bill Bruce had worked very hard to establish and build a partnership between the health department and Saint Luke's Clinic which provides free health care for those in need.

State Senator Joey Pendleton said that he and Bill Bruce had been friends since high school and certainly wanted to pass his condolences along to the Bruce Family. Pendleton stated that Bill Bruce will always be known for his dedication and tenure with Kentucky Farm Bureau. Senator Pendleton stressed that he hoped that Bill's passing would draw more attention to the need for people to have regular check-ups. "After what I happened to me I was just lucky enough to be in the right place and to get quickly to a hospital. We just never know." said Pendleton. 

State Rep. John Tilley stated, "I'm shocked. This is a big loss for our community." Tilley praised Bill Bruce for his service to Hopkinsville and Christian County saying "Bill will be missed in so many ways". Tilley commended Bruce's service to the community and said, " You don't replace twenty years of experience and dedication. This is truly a time to reflect and pay tribute to our friend and his public service."

Kentucky law required that anybody wanting to seek Bill Bruce's seat on Fiscal Court had to file a declaration page by 4pm today with the County Court Clerk's office to be a write-in candidate on November 2nd. The law requires that only write-in candidates be considered eligible after the ballots are printed. If the vacancy would have occurred after the write-in deadline then the Governor would appoint to fill the vacancy.

As of 4pm today, two candidates have filed as write in candidates. Mike Bruce, a farmer and son of the late Rep. Jim Bruce filed. Also filing was David Collins, a good friend of Bill Bruce and the former owner of Collin's Buick. Sources tell me that Bill Bruce's wife will publicly endorse David Collins in the next 24hours to succeed her husband.

Funeral services for Bill Bruce will be held Monday at the First Christian Church in Hopkinsiville with burial to follow at Rose Dale Cemetery. Visitation will be held Sunday from 4-8pm at Hughart and Beard Funeral Home on South Virginia Street.

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