A familiar face for Franklin County jailer has entered the race.
Tracy Hopper announced her intention to run in the May Democratic primary in a press release this week. Hopper is now the second person running for jailer after Capt. Ben Gash announced his candidacy earlier this month.
She ran for jailer the first time in 2018. When former jailer Rick Rogers retired in August, Hopper expressed her interest in becoming the interim jailer to Franklin County Judge/Executive Huston Wells.
Wells ultimately chose Jake Banta as interim jailer until a special election could be held.
“My passion for improving our jail operations is the reason why I’m officially announcing my candidacy for the office of Franklin County Jailer,” Hopper said.
According to the release, Hopper has a long history working in or directly with the Franklin County Regional Jail.
Hopper first began working at the jail as an administrative assistant after she graduated Western Hills High School. Throughout her time there, she was promoted to corporal, sergeant and staff sergeant and oversaw the safety and security of staff, inmates and visitors.
After leaving the jail to start a family, Hopper joined the Administrative Office of the Courts records unit, where she became a supervisor and worked on the team that would automate and modernize how the state submits and receives criminal background requests.
Now, she works as a pretrial officer in Franklin and Woodford counties interviewing defendants at the jail, collecting criminal histories and conducting risk assessments.
Hopper says her primary issues are inmate programs, training and transparency. She wants to reduce staff turnover and retain talented staff. She also wants to provide programs for inmates in which they can develop marketable skills. By offering these programs, inmates’ potential for rehabilitation and meaningful employment on release increases, the release states.
“As your Franklin County Jailer, I will operate by providing correctional services that are fair, effective, and compliant with Kentucky jail standards,” Hopper said. “Concerns from current jail staff and other individuals conducting business with the jail will not be dismissed.
“I will bring an end to unnecessary spending and make this an office that serves Franklin County. I believe that I am a real choice for Franklin County.”