31-year old political newcomer defeats interim county attorney in GOP primary
LOUISA- Political newcomer Johnny Osborne of Ulysses, a 31-year old attorney and first time candidate, shocked local political observers by defeating Interim County Attorney Brad Derifield of Louisa by 51 votes in the Republican Primary for Lawrence County Attorney.
Osborne received 898 votes to Derifield’s 847.
After the resignation of five-term County Attorney Mike Hogan in March, Derifield, who had been a longtime assistant under Hogan, was appointed County Attorney through the end of 2022 by County Judge/Executive Phil Carter.
One veteran political observer said the race came down to Osborne’s personality and effort, and that he was also aided by the fact that he shares the same name of former Judge/Executive John Osborne.
“Johnny’s a very personable, humble, and approachable guy, and he put in a lot of shoe leather to pull off the win. It’s a testament to his personality and hard work,” said T. J. Litafik, a statewide political strategist who has previously advised candidates in Lawrence County.
“It also didn’t hurt one bit that he has the same name as John Osborne, who lost in a squeaker four years ago, but who is well-known, and well-liked,” Litafik said.
No Democratic candidate filed, so Tuesday’s primary was tantamount to election for Osborne.
Osborne will serve a four-year term beginning January 2023.