Former Berea mayor Steven Connelly remembers late Madison County magistrate Larry Combs

Former Berea mayor Steven Connelly remembers late Madison County magistrate Larry Combs
Combs served as the magistrate of District 1, representing southern Madison County and the city of Berea. (Source: WKYT)

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Madison County magistrate Larry Combs has died.

Combs served as the magistrate of District 1, representing southern Madison County and the city of Berea.

“To understand Larry Combs, to know Larry Combs, is also to know Berea,” says former Berea mayor Steven Connelly and long-time friend of Combs. “He died in office which is such appropriate to the way he lived, he thought about politics all the time.”

Elected in November 1981 and sworn into office on January 1st, 1982, Combs was a magistrate for almost 40 years, serving longer than any other magistrate in the Commonwealth.

Connelly says Combs was full of life with a passion for politics.

“To understand Larry’s populism, in my opinion, it is to understand that he was always for Berea, usually that meant in opposition to Richmond and to the rest of the county. He was standing up for Berea,” Connelly says.

Connelly says his friend believed in road projects and was adamant about making sure Berea got a fair portion of the road budget.

He says Combs wasn’t only undefeated in his races running for magistrate. He was also a former police officer, a family man, and a friend.

“I will never forget and I will always appreciate how he would sacrifice for a friend,” says Connelly.

An appointment to fill the vacancy of the magistrate position will be made by Governor Andy Beshear. There is no deadline for this decision.

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