In Nov. 4 Issue
By Derek Aaron
Times Journal Editor
With a nearly 57 percent voter turnout, Russell Countians went to the polls in droves Tuesday to select county, city and various other offices in the general election, according to Court Clerk Lisha Popplewell.
"That was outstanding, comparing our voters to the number of registered voters," Popplewell said. "I love that people went out and voted, absolutely love it."
The day at the polls wasn't problem free, though, as a voting machine and its backup both malfunctioned at the Jamestown precinct, prompting 41 people to vote on paper ballots. The snafu pushed back final unofficial results from the court clerk's office to midnight Tuesday.
Popplewell said her office contacted the state board of elections, who then gave the go-ahead for use of the supplemental paper ballots for the 41 voters in Jamestown precinct.
The Kentucky election fraud hotline received at least one complaint from Russell County on allegations of vote-buying.
All in all, Popplwell seemed pleased with the day.
"The voters were so patient and so kind. It was a long line and everybody just went with the flow and that just helped so much,” she said.
In looking at the unofficial results from Popplewell's office, Democrat Gary Robertson with 3,445 votes edged past Republican Ralph Creech with 3,384 votes to capture the county judge-executive's race by just 61 votes.
In the county attorney's race it was Republican Kevin Shearer outpacing Democrat Jeff Loy, 4,163 to 2,674 while in the race for sheriff it was incumbent Larry Bennett holding off Democrat James Fetty, 4,823 to 1,996.
For the property valuation administrator's position it was Republican Tim Popplewell downing Democrat Roger Back, 4,736 votes to 1,953 votes.
In the race for jailer, Republican Bobby Dunbar defeated Democrat Tim Glover, 5,786 votes to 1,031.
With that figure, Dunbar gets the nod for most local votes in the county election.
The county coroner's race saw incumbent Larry Skaggs, a Republican, defeat Democrat Bill Carroll 5,236 to 1,386 while Republican Bobby Smith downing Michael Syphax, a Democrat, for the position of county surveyor, 4,103 to 1,785.
In the first magisterial district it was incumbent Greg Popplewell, a Republican, defeating Democrat Dwain "Dude" West 771 to 556. David Kerns tallied 127 write-in votes in that race. The second magisterial district saw Republican Brook Cochran outgaining Democrat John "Brack" Flanagan 946 to 288.
Incumbent Republican Magistrate Ronald Johnson defeated Democratic challenger Marty Kazsuk 809 to 655 in the third magisterial district. The fourth magisterial district saw incumbent Republican Jimmy McQueary defeat Steve Richardson, a Democrat, 839 to 511.
The fifth magisterial district spot went to Republican Larry Holt who defeated Democrat Lou Ann Gore Flanagan 655 to 544.
Mayor Hollis DeHart defeated his opponent Lillard Pettyjohn to maintain his position as mayor of Russell Springs with the vote being 639 to 198.
The city council in Russell Springs returns five familiar faces as Ricky Barnes-652, Timmy Hudson-641, Eric Selby-610, David Blakey-572 and Lisa Mann-527 all were re-elected. Eddie Thomas, with 599 votes, replaces Ray Barrett, with 498 votes, on the city's council. The Jamestown City Council remains as it was with all six incumbents, Harold "Frog" Miller-367, Terry Robertson, 357, Larry Joe Murray-349, David Lawless-338, George Ralph Garr-338 and Marcelene Taylor-329, garnering enough votes to stay on the council.
In the race for the fourth educational school board district it was longtime school board member and current chairman Clifford Wilson defeating Richard "Dick" Kazsuk and Nancy Eastham. Wilson tallied 557 votes while Kazsuk received 523 and Eastham 335.
In the race for district judge for the 40th judicial district, second division it was Scarlett Latham over Larry Rogers in Russell County by a total of 4,021 to 2,097. Latham also won in both Clinton and Wayne Counties as well.
In the only opposed constable race it was Republican Perry Brumley defeating Jeff Aaron in the first district, 781 to 575. Larry Appleby collected nine write-in votes in that race.
In the race for the three spots on the soil and water conservation board it was Darrell Selby-3,780, Sandra Voils-3032 and Michael Rexroat-2,825 winning.
Unopposed local victors include state representative Jeff Hoover in the 83rd district, Lisha Popplewell for court clerk, Mark Helm for second district constable, Reggie Gosser for third district constable, Tracy Smoth for fourth district constable, Michael "Toe Joe" Bray for fifth district constable, Daniel Venters for justice of the Supreme Court in the 3rd Supreme Court district, James "Mike" Lawson for district judge in the 40th judicial district, second division, Steve Kerr for school board member in the third educational district and Terry Lawless for mayor of Jamestown.
Locally in the race for U.S. senator it was Republican Rand Paul defeating Democrat Jack Conway, 4,443 to 1,786. Paul won the race statewide as well as he defeated Conway by about 150,000 votes. In the race for U.S. representative in the first congressional district it was Republican Ed Whitfield defeating Democrat Charles Hatchett locally, 5,071 to 1,178. Whitfield also won big in his 34-county district as well.
Popplewell wished to thank her precinct officers who worked the long hours at the polls Tuesday as well as her staff in the clerk's office who helped her with the election.
"People have been kind enough to us to allow us to be their clerk for four more years and I appreciate that so much," she said. "I've got great people, I wouldn't trade them for anybody."