Voting begins Thursday, election day is Tuesday

Posted May 11, 2022 at 10:41 am

A high percentage turnout of registered voters, especially among Republicans, is expected in Clinton County during early voting May 12, 13, and 14 and on primary election day next Tuesday, May 17, when candidates cease campaigning and voters make their decisions.

Several races–local, state, federal and judicially related races–will be on the ballot for voters to chose a candidate to represent their respective party in the November general election, which some refer to as the “mid-term” elections between the Presidential races held each fourth year.

The 2022 primary in Clinton County, especially for county related races, will be somewhat unusual, as no Democrat has filed for a county office, either county-wide or district-wide.

That scenario, barring any unforeseen “write-in” campaigns this fall by a candidate, means a “winner-take-all” primary race.

Registered voters of either party have ample opportunity to exercise their right to vote for the candidate of their choice, either by mail-in absentee, the allowed walk-in early voting days or election day itself next Tuesday.

In Clinton County, all county seats are up for election this year, with a handful of incumbents–all Republicans–running without opposition this spring.

There will be a total of 49 individuals on county only ballots (several more counting other races), with 46 of those being men and only three women in the running, with only one of those running in a county-wide race.

There are expected to be several close races across the board when final votes, including absentee and machine votes, are tallied next Tuesday night in the County Clerk’s office. Most races, county-wide and district-wide, have multiple candidates seeking the same position, with almost all incumbents seeking reelection.

Over 70 total candidates will appear on the ballot in all races, and two local incumbents have opted to retire and are not seeking reelection in Clinton County, including Clinton County Sheriff Jeff Vincent and long-time Clinton County Coroner Steve Talbott.

Two local county office holders, PVA (Property Evaluation Administrator) Pat Campbell and Clinton County Attorney Michael Rains, both Republicans, are unopposed this year.

Also, non-partisan candidates, which include all city-wide races, two school board races and three Soil Conservation District seats, will not appear on the ballot until November, with the filing deadline in those races being June 7.

The candidates that will appear on the ballot in Clinton County include (all GOP) in order of position on the ballot: (x) incumbent

* Clinton County Judge/Executive: Kristal Mims Curry; Joe Stockton; Michael Rayborn; Ricky Craig (x); Richard C. Armstrong.

*Clinton County Sheriff: Jim Guffey; Jason Warinner; Ricky Marcum.

*Clinton County Clerk: Dan Thomas, Nathan Collins (x).

*Clinton County Coroner: Dennis McWhorter, Lonnie Scott.

* Clinton County Jailer: Bobby McIver; Tracy Thurman (x); Dennis Shelton; Bruce Stearns; Tim Koger; Leon “Slick” Walker.

*Magistrate: District 1 (North and East Albany Precincts): Reed Sloan; Tony Delk; Johnny Russell (x).

*Magistrate -District 2: Hayes Maupin and Nora Precincts): Jason Pitman; Ray Marcum (x); Ronnie Stinson; Patty Guinn; Willard Gibson.

*Magistrate-District 3: (Piney Woods, Snow and Seventy-Six Precincts): Terry Buster (x); Gary Tallent.

*Magistrate-District 4: (Neathery – Cave Springs and Highway Precincts): Bobby Thurman; Gary L. Ferguson (x); Clint Ray.

*Magistrate-District 5: (Illwill and Speck Precincts): Josh Patrick; Michael Creekmore; Johnny Shelley; Jerry Lowhorn (x).

*Magistrate – District 6: (South and West Albany): Josh Bowlin; David Harris; Chrissy Parrish; Mickey Riddle (x).

Constable: (all Republicans and all serve same districts as magistrates):

* District 1: James Adkins (unopposed).

* District 2: David “Sidewinder” Cross (unopposed).

* District 3: Chris Conner (unopposed).

* District 4: Ronnie Thrasher, David Scroggins.

* District 5: Ronnie Appleby; Gary York; Chaston Bell.

* District 6: Gilbert Daniel (unopposed).

Other races on the ballot include two federal races involving Clinton County.

There are a host of candidates, Republican and Democrat, seeking the seat of U.S. Senate. That seat is currently held by Republican Rand Paul of Bowling Green, who is seeking reelection.

A total of 10 candidates from both parties are in that race.

In the race for U.S. Congress in the 1st District, there is one Democrat unopposed, Jimmy C. Ausbrooks. He will run against incumbent Republican James Comer, of Tompksinville, in November.

In the race for Division 1 District Judge, comprised of Clinton, Russell and Wayne counties, incumbent Scarlett Latham of Albany is being challenged by Lee Whittenburg of Monticello for that non-partisan judgeship.

Division 2 District Judge James M. “Mike” Lawson of Albany is unopposed.

Also unopposed is 40th Judicial Circuit Judge David L. Williams of Burkesville. His district is composed of Clinton, Monroe and Cumberland counties.

83rd District State Representative Josh Branscum of Russell County, who represents Clinton in the state House of Representatives, is unopposed and two Appellate Court Judicial positions, that serve this region, are unopposed. Those judges are Jacqueline Caldwell and James H. Lambert.

Polls open next Tuesday at 6 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. (or until the last voter in line has a chance to cast a ballot) at three locations, the Welcome Center, just north of Albany, the RECC Building in the Snow Community and the Clinton County Community Center.

Voters are also reminded they can vote early at any of the three voting locations listed between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, May 12, 13, and 14.

All absentee ballot voting via mail must arrive in the county clerk’s office no later than 6 p.m. local time on election day in order to be counted.

For more information on the upcoming May 17 primary election, please contact the Clinton County Clerk’s Office at (606) 387-5943. And don’t forget, voting isn’t just a right, it’s a privilege.