Voters will head to the polls next Tuesday

Posted October 31, 2012 at 2:26 pm

City council, two school board races on local ballots

Following weeks, months and in the presidential race, even a few years, of hearing from the candidates, voters across the country, including Albany and Clinton County, will make their voice heard inside the voting booths next Tuesday, November 6.

Although the race with the most interest, and possibly one of the closest races since the controversial 2000 nationwide election, is that of President of the United States, which with just one week remaining prior to election day, polls showed Democrat incumbent Barrack Obama and Republican challenger, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney as a race “too close to call.”

Even though the election will boil down to the aforementioned pair of candidates, voters in Kentucky, including Clinton County, will see three additional names on the ballot, and depending on how many combined votes the lesser candidates can draw nationwide, may even have an effect on the presidential outcome.

The other three names on the Presidential ballot locally will be Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate; Randall Terry, Independent; and Gary Johnson, running on the Libertarian Party platform.

2012 is a federal election, but in Kentucky, neither U.S. Senate race is up for election this round but all six Congressional seats are. In the First Congressional District, incumbent Republican Ed Whitfield is being challenged by Democrat Charles Hatchett in next week’s primary.

There are also some state races on the ballot in Kentucky, but no state races where an incumbent is being challenged will appear on the Clinton County ballot.

One Constitutional Amendment question will appear on the ballot in Kentucky and is drawing some attention, especially among sportsmen, hunters, conservationists and even gun owners in general. Many of these groups and individuals are pushing for passage on the simple “yes” or “no” ballot question:

“Are you in favor of amending the Kentucky constitution to state that the citizens of Kentucky have the personal right to hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife, subject to laws and regulations that promote conservation and preserve the future of hunting and fishing, and to state that public hunting and fishing shall be a preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife?”

On the local level, the majority of the 13 total precincts in Clinton County will have at least one local race to vote on–either for a school board member or city council candidates (voters can vote for six on that ballot.) Also, there is one contested magisterial race to elect a person to fill an unexpired term and another district in which the nominee has no opposition.

Although appearing on the ballot, Hershell Key, the Republican nominee for Fifth District Magistrate (Speck and Illwill precincts) is without opposition next week.

In Magisterial District Three (Snow, Seventy Six and Piney Woods), Republican Terry Buster is running against Democrat nominee Amanda Rich.

Three of five seats that make up the Clinton County Board of Education are also on the ballot this year.

In District Two, incumbent board chairman Ned Davis is being challenged by Jeff Sams. The district is made up of the Seventy Six and Cave Springs precincts; in District Three, first term incumbent Paula Key is being challenged by former board member Junior Elmore. That district comprises the Highway, Illwill and Speck precincts. In District Four, comprised of North, East and West Albany, another first-term member, Junior Cecil, is being challenged by David Claywell.

Voters in the City of Albany will also choose the six members who make up the Albany City Council for the next two years.

There are a total of nine candidates, including all six incumbents and three former council members in the running. The incumbents include James “Smitty” Smith, Tonya Claborn Thrasher, Frankie Stockton, Mary Faye Stockton, Steve Lawson and Tony Delk. The three other former candidates seeking to get back on the council including Leland Hicks, Raymond Shelton and James Bray.

Almost 7,500 citizens in Clinton County are eligible to vote in next week’s general election, with just over 6,000 of that total being Republican and just under 1,400 Democrats with around 100 being labeled as “other party” or independent voters.

County Clerk Jim Elmore said earlier in October that the interest so far, at least in the number of people voting by absentee ballot, seemed to be high and with a combination of federal and local elections, plus the Constitutional Amendment, a higher than usual turnout next week is expected locally.

(A complete sample ballot for next week’s general election, as well as precinct officers, can be found elsewhere in this week’s edition.)