Voters get their chance to speak next Tuesday

Posted May 14, 2014 at 2:35 pm


Following literally months of campaigning by candidates seeking their parties’ nominations in the May Primary election, local voters will decide the winners and losers on the ballot in races for county-wide, local districts and state races.
Polls open across the county and state next Tuesday morning at 6 a.m. local prevailing time and registered voters in Clinton County are expected to turn out in moderate to high numbers due to the local flavor of the election, the high number of candidates and a few closely contested races on the ballot.

As the case in the majority of primary races in Clinton County, Republicans will have several contested races in which there are multiple (two or more) candidates while most Democrats will have a limited number of ballots to cast next week.

A couple of the more interesting of the races that has surfaced in the 2014 primary is that of Clinton County Jailer, where a total of eight people are running, but the seven on the ballot next Tuesday will be all Republicans. All are looking to succeed long-time Clinton County Jailer Gene Ferrill, who is not seeking re-election.

Voters will also be choosing party nominations for the county’s top elected official, with four Republicans and three Democrats running for County Judge/Executive.

Four Republicans are seeking nomination in the race for sheriff while two are seeking that party’s nomination for County Clerk.

Another hotly contested race is a district race for the 16th District State Senate seat where appointed incumbent Sara Beth Gregory of Monticello is being challenged in the primary by Campbellsville hopeful Max Wise. There are no Democrats vying for the seat.

Although a listing of candidates, as well as precinct officers, appeared in last week’s Clinton County News, the following is another brief review of the primary races coming up next week in Clinton County. (Note: Asterisk by name represents current incumbent office holder and names do not appear in any particular order as to ballot positions.)

— Judge/Executive: Republican– Lyle Huff*, Kevin Marcum, Jerry Hicks, Richard Armstrong. Democrat: Charlene King, George “Keith” Byrd, Mark A. Thrasher.

— Sheriff: Republican–Ricky Riddle*, Jim Guffey, Travis Denney, Cameron Speer. Democrat: Raymond Shelton.

— County Clerk: Republican–Shelia Braswell-Booher*, Vic Upchurch. Democrat– Dan Thomas.

— Jailer: Republican– Tim Koger, Clyde Stearns, Johnny Thrasher, Joe Stockton, John D. Beaty, Tracy Thurman, Rayborn Stearns. Democrat: Keith Dalton.

— Magistrate, District 1: Republican–Phillip Parrigin*, Johnny Russell.

— Magistrate, District 2: Republican–Patty Guinn*, Billy K. Smith. Democrat–Matt Smith, Billy Catron.

— Magistrate, District 3: Republican–Terry Buster*, Dale Mason.

— Magistrate, District 4: Republican–Ricky L. Craig*, Ricky R. Smith, Johnny W. Shelton, Gary Lane Ferguson.

— Magistrate, District 6: Republican–Mickey Riddle*, Josh Bowlin, David Harris.

— U.S. Senate: Republican–Matt Bevin, Shawna Sterling, Mitch McConnell*, James Bradley Copas, Chris Payne. Democrat– Tom Rocktenwald, Alison Lundergan Grimes, Gregory Brent Lachty, Burrell Charles Farnley.

— U.S. Representative (Congress), First District: Democrat–Wesley Keaton Bolin, Charles Kendall Hatchett.

— State Senate, 16th District: Republican– Sara Beth Gregory*, Max Wise.

In constable races, District 1 will have two Republicans, James Adkins and Andy Byler; District 2, David “Sidewinder” Cross, a Republican, is unopposed; District 3, Rick Stearns is unopposed in the GOP primary and will face Gary Rex Guffey, a Democrat that is unopposed, in November; District 4 has two Republicans, Ronnie Thrasher and Steve Bridgeman; District 5 has two Republicans, Gary York and Jerry Craig and in District 6, Republican Gilbert Daniels is unopposed.

Several primary candidates will be unopposed in next week’s primary, including a few that will also be unopposed in November as well. They include:

* PVA (Property Valuation Administrator) Pat Campbell, Republican.

* Coroner Steve Talbott, Republican.

* County Attorney Michael Rains, Republican.

* Magistrate, District 5: Hershell Key, Republican.

Republican Congressman Ed Whitfield is unopposed in the primary but will have a Democrat opponent in the fall and 83rd District State Representative Jeff Hoover is unopposed in both the primary and general elections.

This fall, other than the contested county races that will be on the ballot, all city races, including mayor and city council seats will be on the ballot; there will be two Board of Education seats up for election in November and a few judicial races, including that of 40th Circuit Court Judge where incumbent David L. Williams is being challenged by fellow Burkesville resident Steve Hurt. There will also be a Supreme Court Justice and Court of Appeals race that will appear on the ballot in Clinton County in November.

Two other judicial races are already decided, as both 40th District judges who serve Clinton, Wayne and Russell Counties, Mike Lawson and Scarlett Latham–both of Albany, are unopposed.

Although the deadline to apply for a paper absentee ballot ended this past Tuesday, May 13, anyone who will be out of the county on election day next week may still vote on the voting machine set in the County Clerk’s office through 4 p.m. next Monday, May 19.

Details and totals from next Tuesday’s local primary election will be published in next week’s Clinton County News.

Clinton County voters have had several months to make up their minds on the choices they will make next Tuesday in the primary election. Candidates have been presenting their views, platforms and pleas for votes in the pages of the Clinton County News for several weeks, as well as through other forms of advertising, such as a host of signs that have been placed along roadsides throughout the county. Most candidates have also attempted to make one on one contact with voters as well.