Craig retains Judge/Executive seat, Marcum wins sheriff’s race, Stearns will be new jailer

Posted May 23, 2022 at 8:11 am


As is always the case in local elections, Tuesday night’s primary voting results brought some surprises, a few close races, a couple of lopsided results and a few that were expected to go the way they did.

The bottom line after the vote tallying had been completed Tuesday night in the Clinton County Clerk’s office was that Clinton County will keep the Judge/Executive they have had for the past four years, and will see a new county sheriff, county jailer, county coroner and a few new magistrates sworn in this coming January.

Considering that there were no Democrats filing for local offices prior to the filing deadline, the results of the races in Tuesday’s Republican Primary election are the final results in the local races, both county-wide and district races such as magistrates and constables.

In the five candidate race for Clinton County Judge/Executive, incumbent Ricky Craig retained his seat in the county’s top government office, holding off four challengers that included former County Judge/Executive Richard C. Armstrong.

Craig finished the primary election with a total 1,337 votes to win re-election to that position, over second place finisher Armstrong who had 1,107 votes in the election.

First-time candidate Kristal Mims Curry ran third with 624 votes, followed by Michael P. Rayborn with 516 votes while Joe Stockton finished Tuesday night’s voting with 220 votes.

In the race for Clinton County Sheriff, with incumbent Jeff Vincent opting to not seek re-election to the office, it was a sure bet that the county would have a new Sheriff in office come January, and the voters were nearly split as to which of the three candidates would get the nod.

When Tuesday’s votes were tallied, it was Albany City Police Officer Ricky Marcum who had won the office with a narrow victory over retired Kentucky State Trooper Jason Warinner and fellow Albany Police officer Jim Guffey, who was also a former Clinton County Sheriff.

Marcum finished the election with 1,658 votes, some 34 votes more than Warinner’s 1,624 votes. Guffey finished third with 540 votes.

In another local race that resulted in a change in office holders, challenger Bruce Stearns picked up the win in the race for Clinton County Jailer, defeating five other candidates including incumbent jailer Tracy Thurman.

Stearns had 1,472 total primary votes to win the office over incumbent Thurman with 997 total votes.

Bobby McIver finished third with 739 votes while Leon “Slick” Walker had 292 votes, Dennis Shelton earning 167 votes and Tim Koger with 120 votes.

The candidate with the largest favor from Clinton County voters in the primary was incumbent County Clerk Nathan Collins.

Collins received the most votes in the primary balloting with 3,185 votes to win the race, and reelection to the office over challenger Dan Thomas, who finished the primary voting with 637 votes.

In the race for Clinton County Coroner, again the office will see a new official with long-time coroner Steve Talbott also opting to not see re-election.

In that two-man race, Lonnie Scott earned the nod from Clinton County voters with a primary vote total of 2,185 votes while Dennis McWhorter finished with 1,574 votes.

Tuesday’s primary election also saw a host of district county seats on the ballot, including the six district seats for magistrate on the Clinton County Fiscal Court.

In the end, half of the makeup of the county’s governing body will see new magistrates taking the oath of office in January, while half of the magistrates earned re-election status.

In the first district, former Albany City Council member Tony Delk picked up that magistrate’s seat with a total of 333 votes to defeat incumbent Johnny Russell with 212 votes as well as current City Council member Reed Sloan who had 206 votes.

In the second district, Jason Pitman will serve as that district new magistrate.

Pitman finished the night with 208 total votes to defeat incumbent Ray Marcum with 130 votes. Also running in the third district was Patty Guinn with 106 votes, Ronnie Stinson with 83 votes and Willard Bo Gibson with 35 votes.

The third magisterial district will also see a new face at the fiscal court table, with former squire Gary Tallent defeating incumbent magistrate Terry Buster in a close race.

Tallent earned 379 votes while Buster finished primary voting with 365.

Magistrate Gary Ferguson retained his fourth district seat on the fiscal court, finishing with 270 votes to defeat challengers Clint Sawyers Ray with 207 votes and Bobby K. Thurman with 149 votes.

In the fifth district, incumbent Jerry Lowhorn also retained his seat on the fiscal court with a 260 primary vote total to defeat three challengers in that district, Johnny Shelley with 162 votes, Josh Patrick with 110 votes and Michael Creekmore with 83 votes.

Finally, in the sixth district, incumbent Micky Riddle held off three challengers to keep his fiscal court seat with 182 votes.

Chrissy Duvall Parrish finished with 121 votes, Josh Bowlin had 116 votes and David Harris garnered 98 votes in that race.

In two district races for Clinton County Constable, it was Ronnie Thrasher who won in the fourth district with 493 votes, defeating David Scroggins with 102 votes.

In the fifth district Chaston Bell earned the win for constable with 296 votes while Gary York had 146 votes and Ronnie Appleby picked up 135 votes.

In the Republican voting for U.S. Senator, incumbent Rand Paul easily earned the Clinton County nod over five challengers on Tuesday’s ballot.

Paul had 2,940 votes in the primary election while Tami Stainfield saw 155 votes, Valerie Fredrick 147 votes, Paul Hamilton 125 and Arnold Blankenship 100.

The only other race to appear in this primary election, and the only democratic race on the primary ballots, was the democratic race for the candidate who will face Rand Paul this fall in the general election.

Local Democrats, who turned out in small numbers with only one race to vote in, favored Charles Booker with 69 votes. Joshua Wesley Blanton had 26 votes, John Merrill had 21 votes and Ruth Gao had 17 votes.

Other primary election notes saw 57.87 percent of the 6.637 registered Republicans in Clinton County voted in the primary election, with 3,841 casting ballots either on election day (1,747), by early voting (1,591) or by absentee (503).

Democrats saw only 13.85 percent of the 975 registered taking the time to vote, either election day (83), early voting (46) or by absentee (6).

Readers are reminded that all vote totals in this article, and in the vote table this week, are unofficial totals.

Clinton County Clerk Nathan Collins, center, calls out vote totals Tuesday night from the primary election as vote tabulators transcribe the numbers onto computers.