By Jim Brooks
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio
Thursday, July 21, 2022 — Nelson County Jailer John “Buck” Snellen, a longtime Democrat, changed his party registration to Republican on Thursday afternoon at the Nelson County Clerk’s office.
“I think the Republican Party works more for people in general,” he said.
Snellen is also backing two Republicans in the November general election — Tim Hutchins for Nelson County executive judge and Justin Hall to replace him as Nelson County jailer.
Snellen said Hall would do a great job as jailer and is currently employed part-time. While Snellen spent much of his time as jailer repairing and maintaining the prison, the work is incomplete.
Snellen was accompanied by Hutchins, who praised his decision to switch parties as an elected official.
“Buck and I went back,” Hutchins said. “Buck is like a lot of us here in Nelson County, we were Democrats then because you couldn’t really run in a (local) primary as a Republican.”
“A lot of people have seen the light and understand that we need more conservative, business-minded people.”
Hutchins predicted more Democrats will turn Republican ahead of the November election.
Snellen said that once his term as jailer was over, he had no intention of running for another elective position.
“It’s time to put that horse out to pasture and enjoy my life a little bit,” he said.