In May 20 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Reporter
Thousands of local voters cast their ballots during Tuesday’s primary election as several high profile incumbents lost their races to their upstart rivals while some incumbents held on to battle once again in November.
County Clerk Lisha Popplewell said all went well at the polls in the county’s 16 voting precincts and that she was pleased at the number of folks who exercised their right to vote despite the cool, gloomy weather.
In local party elections it was Republican Ralph Creech, a local businessman, defeating the incumbent County Judge-Executive Mickey Garner, 3,070 to 2,065, to take that party’s nod into November where he will face off with Democrat Gary D. Robertson, the 5th district’s current magistrate, for the county’s top governmental spot.
Incumbent Sheriff Larry Bennett, the longest serving sheriff in county history, defeated one of his deputies, Tim Pierce, in the race for sheriff, 2,992 to 2,238. Bennett will now face Democrat James Eugene Fetty this fall.
In the race for County Attorney, local attorney Kevin Shearer downed the incumbent Mark McGaha, 3,144 to 2,051, to head into the fall against Democrat Jeffery T. Loy, an assistant county attorney to McGaha.
Republican Bobby Dunbar took home the most votes in the election, ringing up 3,244 to his opponent Robert Stanton’s 1,526 with David Bernard getting 467. Dunbar moves on to the November General Election where he will face Democrat Tim Glover.
The property valuation administrator’s race saw Republican Tim Popplewell’s 2,641 votes defeat Kim Byrom’s 1,377 and Anthony Carnes’ 1,102 to move on to the fall where he will face Democrat Roger Back.
Locally, in the district judge’s race, Athena Cooper’s 2,584 votes topped both Larry E. Rogers and Scarlett Latham’s vote totals. But Latham garnered 42.8 percent 5,910 in the three-county voting area, comprised of Russell, Clinton and Wayne counties. Rogers tallied the second most votes in the three-county judicial district with 4,335 votes, or 31.4 percent while Cooper garnered 25.8 percent of the vote with 3,567 votes.
The first district magistrate’s race went to the incumbent Greg Popplewell who will face Democrat Dwaine “Dude” West in the general election.
Newcomer Brook Cochran took the second district magistrate’s position and will face Democrat John “Brack” Flanagan next. In the third district magistrate’s position, the incumbent Ronald Johnson came out on top and will face Democrat Marty Kazsuk in the fall.
Incumbent Jimmy McQueary won the primary for fourth district magistrate and will face Democrat Steve Richardson in the general election. In the Magisterial District 5 race, Republican Larry W. Holt and Democrat Lou Ann Gore Flanagan, both county party chairpersons for their respective parties, will face off in November.
In the constable races it was Perry Brumley in the first district, Mark Helm in the second district, Reggie Gosser in the third district, Tracy Smith in the fourth district and Michael “Toe Joe” Bray in the fifth district. Only Brumley will have competition in the fall when he takes on Democrat Jeffery Aaron.
In the hotly contested U.S. Senate Race, Republican Rand Paul took Russell County with 2,696 votes to Trey Grayson’s 1,786 votes. On the Democratic side it was Daniel Mongiardo defeating Jack Conway locally, 411 to 327.
Statewide, Paul also downed Grayson to take the nod into the fall while Conway outlasted Mongiardo by the slimmest of margins on the Democratic side to take that party’s nomination into the upcoming general election. The two will face off in the fall.
While Russell County is predominantly Republican, Democrat voters still outnumber Republican voters in the state by more than 570,000 voters, according to media reports.
County Clerk Lisha Popplewell said she wanted to thank all precinct workers and members of her staff in the county clerk’s office as well as the County Board of Election Commissioners for all of their hard work leading up to this year’s primary election.