Clinton voters flock to the polls

Posted November 7, 2012 at 2:40 pm


Snow election officer Clayton Brown set up the Snow Precinct voting machine Tuesday morning for Martha Hatfield while other voters waited in line to cast their votes. About 60 percent of registered voters in Clinton County cast ballots in Tuesday’s election that involved several local races, as well as regional, state and national races on the ballot. Local contested races included school board, magisterial and Albany City Council races.


Voters were steady all day at the West Albany precint. With local elections of the school board and Albany City Council, voter turnout was expected to be high in Clinton County.

About sixty percent of the registered voters in Clinton County took the time to find their way to the polls to cast votes in Tuesday’s general election in races that involved local, district and national races.

While the winner of the race for our nation’s President wasn’t known at press time for the Clinton County News, the results of several local races had been finalized.

Voters determined the winners in several races with local flavor for Albany and Clinton County, and those results, in a nutshell, showed as most elections do, a few changes and a few that were left unchanged.

In local balloting, voters decided on three school board races, six city council seats and one contested seat on the Clinton County Fiscal Court.

In one of the instances where voters opted to make a change was in the race for school board member in District 2.

In that race for school board member, challenger Jeff Sams unseated incumbent school board member Ned Davis by a total unofficial vote of 362 to 180.

Davis had been a member of the board of education for some three decades, and is currently the Chairman of the five member board of education.

Sams defeated Davis by winning the Seventy Six precinct 151 to 71 and the Neathery/Cave Springs precinct by an 182 to 91 vote total. Sams also bested Davis in the Absentee vote totals, 29 to 18.

In the race for school board member in District 3, incumbent board member Paula Key retained her seat by holding off a challenge from former board member Junior Elmore.

Key, who is just finishing her first term on the school board, won over Elmore with a 602 vote total to Elmore’s 452 votes across the three precinct district.

Key won three two of those three precincts, with 208 votes in Illwill to Elmore’s 98 and 190 votes to Elmore’s 116 votes in the Speck precinct.

Elmore won the Highway precinct with 188 votes to Key’s 164 votes and also picked up a 10 vote margin in absentee voting with 50 votes to Key’s 40 votes.

In the District 4 race for a school board seat, incumbent member James Austin “Junior” Cecil also retained his seat by holding off his challenger in Tuesday’s voting, David Claywell.

Cecil finished Tuesday’s polling with a total 524 votes to Claywell’s 434 votes.

In his victory, Cecil won the three precincts involved in that race over Claywell, with 146 votes in North Albany to Claywell’s 145 votes, 162 votes in West Albany to 111 votes and 149 votes in East Albany to 109 votes.

Claywell picked up a narrow advantage in absentee voting, besting Cecil by two votes, 69 to 67.

In the race for Magistrate in the third district, Republican Terry Buster earned a seat on the Clinton County Fiscal Court with an easy win over Democrat Amanda Rich.

Buster held the majority in all three of the precincts involved as well in absentee voting to finish the day with 748 votes to Rich’s 216 votes.

In precinct by precinct voting, Buster had 233 votes in Piney Woods compared to Rich’s 127 votes, 269 votes in Snow to 45 votes and 188 votes in Seventy Six to 32 votes.

In absentee balloting, Buster won 58 to 12.

Buster will serve out the remainder of an unexpired term that was vacated earlier this year when two-term magistrate Willard Johnson resigned his seat due to a job promotion when he was named President of the Albany branch of Monticello Banking Company.

Also in the fifth magisterial district, Republican candidate Hershel Key will also serve an unexpired term on the fiscal court after running for that seat unopposed in Tuesday’s voting.

Although he had no opponent in Tuesday’s balloting, Key still received 550 votes from voters in that three-precinct district.

Key will serve the fiscal court in the unexpired term of Charlotte Bernard, who was also serving her second term on the Clinton County Fiscal Court. Bernard resigned after being hired to the position of Clinton County School Superintendent earlier this summer.

Both Buster and Key will begin serving on the court within the next few days when the election is certified by the Clinton County Election Commission and Clinton County Clerk Jim Elmore.

Two temporary magistrates had been serving in the interim after being appointed by Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, both of whom were former Clinton County Judge/Executives, Larry Hatfield in the third district, and Charlene King in the fifth district.

The only other local race on the ballot in some precincts here Tuesday saw six winners in a nine-candidate race for available seats on the Albany City Council.

When Tuesday’s votes were tallied, five of six incumbents seeking re-election had made successful bids, with a sixth winner being a former City Council member who had been defeated in a previous election.

Winning re-election to the Albany City Council, and each candidate’s respective vote totals, were: Tonya Claborn Thrasher (553), Steven Lawson (533), Frankie Stockton (426), Tony Delk (412) and James “Smitty” Smith (359).

Leland Hicks was the only non-incumbent candidate running Tuesday to earn a seat with the third highest number of votes in the race, finishing with 448.

Losing in Tuesday’s Albany City Council voting was incumbent member Mary Faye Stockton (337), James F. Bray (334) and Raymond L. Shelton (271).

The only other race appearing on the ballot for Clinton County voters with a state flavor was that of the seat for the U.S. House of Representatives in our 1st District.

In that race, incumbent Ed Whitfield, a Republican, easily defeated Democrat challenger Charles K. Hatchett, both on a local level, as well as across the 1st Congressional District.

Clinton County voters heavily favored Whitfield in Tuesday’s voting, 3,397 to 593, and with statewide vote totals still being tallied Tuesday night, Whitfield held a comfortable lead across the district with 70 percent of the votes that had been reported at press time.

In other races appearing on Tuesday’s ballot, three candidates appeared in unopposed races, with Clinton County Circuit Clerk Jake Staton receiving 3,543 votes, 40th Judicial District Commonwealth Attorney Jesse M. Stockton (R) receiving 3,344 votes and Kentucky House of Representatives member Jeff Hoover (R-Jamestown) getting 3,356 votes.

In the race for President of the United States, although a national winner had not been determined at press time Tuesday night, it was clear that Clinton County voters favored Republican candidate Mitt Romney over incumbent Democrat President Barack Obama.

Romney received 3,569 votes from Clinton County voters, compared to Obama’s 752 votes.

Tuesday’s voting, for the vast majority, was done by conventional means, with voters taking the time to cast votes on Tuesday.

There were a number of absentee votes cast by Clinton County voters Tuesday, however, with 260 voters casting ballots by machine early in the County Clerk’s office, while another 161 cast paper absentee ballots.

Three additional ballots, each involving military personnel, were also cast Tuesday.

County Clerk Elmore said that only one ballot was refused by election officials, that of a voter who had died since casting the vote.

The Clinton County News reminds readers that vote totals noted in this article, as well as totals shown in the accompanying vote total table, are considered “unofficial” and those vote totals will continue to be unofficial until the election is certified as official by Clinton County Clerk Jim Elmore.


Tabulator Shirley Latham wrote down the numbers from each precinct Tuesday night. Several local races were decided, including Albany City Council, Board of Education Districts two, three and four as well as magistrate races in districts three and five. Circuit Clerk Jake Staton also appeared on local ballots as an unopposed candidate.


Tabulators wrote down the vote-totals from each precinct Tuesday night as County Clerk Jim Elmore read the results.

Election Table 11.8.12FINAL.pdf