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Owsley County man is Kentucky's longest serving mayor

By: Morgan Lentes Email
By: Morgan Lentes Email

BOONEVILLE, Ky (WYMT) - Here is something you might not know. Kentucky's longest serving mayor is from right here in eastern Kentucky.

Booneville Mayor Charles Long was first elected back in 1958 and has not looked back since.

The Kentucky River Area Development District's meeting draws a crowd each month. But only one man has been there since the first one.

"Life has been in a way good to me and I thank the Lord every day for living," said Long.

Charles Long is a 94-year-old World War II veteran. He also served his hometown of Booneville in Owsley County for most of his life.

"Somebody said to me one day, Charles, you should run for city council and I said I do not know about that. That was 1954," said Long.

By 1958, he was mayor.

"I ran for mayor and I have been mayor ever since," said Long.

That was 56 years ago this month. Long tells me revamping the county's water and sewage lines is his greatest accomplishment. But a struggling industrial park has been a let down.

"We thought, well, maybe they will start something where we could hire people. It is a big building just sitting there rotting away. But they are all over the country that way," said Long.

Now as he reflects back on a career that has spanned half a century, he hopes he has bettered the lives of those in the community that raised him.

"I hope someday that I can say that I have been a good benefit for the people," said Long.

Mayor Long is running for re-election. If he wins, he would be 99-years-old when that term ends.

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