Taul heading for judge-executive office after win in Hardin County Republican primary
Hardin County engineer Keith Taul, who is on track to be the new judge-executive, said his priorities include discouraging industrial solar farms on agricultural land and more transparency in local government.
Taul launched his first run for office after what he saw as a lack of transparency in a local government that’s making decisions impacting his farm.
Keith Taul grows organic hay on his 50-acre farm just outside the tiny town of Cecila. He said several industrial solar companies have leased farmland in the Cecila and Glendale areas of Hardin County.
“It happens to be surrounding my farm here and our house,” said Taul. “So right now, we look out of all of our windows in our house and we see all corn, soybeans, hay, you know, farm.”
He said if industrial solar companies are allowed to carry out their plans, the view from his house will be some of the $1.4 million solar panels spread across 7,000 acres of leased farmland in the region. He thinks it would be better to have solar facilities on industrial land.
When he became concerned about large solar projects on Hardin County farmland, Taul discovered that many local government meetings were scheduled during daytime business hours.
“One of the things I’d want to do, obviously, is change that and move the meetings to later in the day where people that have an 8-to-5 job could come in and have the ability to come in and voice some opinion or some issue that they want to talk about,” he said.
Taul won Tuesday’s Republican primary and is the assumed Hardin County judge- executive because no Democrats ran in the race to replace Harry Berry, who’s retiring after 20 years in that position.