In May 21 Issue
Nearly 17 percent of Russell County voters opted to cast their ballot in Tuesday's primary election, according to Court Clerk Lisha Popplewell. The low turnout locally was not to be outdone by statewide figures as just 10.3 percent of registered voters statewide participated in the primary.
That's the lowest turnout in a gubernatorial primary election since 1999, when only 8.6 percent of voters went to the polls. In 2003, 21 percent voted and in 2007, 22 percent voted in primary elections.
The total number of voters in Russell County was 2,173 out of a registered 12,847 while statewide more than 300,000 votes were cast.
"It went real well," Popplewell said. "From everything I've heard from the precinct officers there was a real good response to the new machines, though the turnout was really light."
The biggest race of the day was State Senate President David Williams, of Burkesville, and current Agriculture Commissioner Richie Farmer winning the Republican nomination for governor and lieutenant governor.
Locally, the Williams-Farmer ticket received 1,225 votes to take the race while the duo of Phil Moffett-Mike Harmon received 411 votes and Bobbie Holsclaw-Bill Vermillion received just 150 votes. Likewise, the Williams-Farmer ticket also won statewide with 68,502 votes and will now face the incumbent Democratic Governor Steve Beshear and his running mate, Louisville Mayor Jerry Abramson in this fall's general election.
In the Republican race for secretary of state, Somerset's Hilda Legg carried Russell County with 1,271 votes to Bill Johnson's 442. Johnson did pull out the statewide victory as he defeated Legg by just 1,102 votes.
In the Democrat primary for the same position, incumbent Elaine Walker was defeated by Allison Lundergran Grimes in both Russell County and the state.
James Comer of Tompkinsville received the Republican nomination for commissioner of agriculture as he received 1,476 votes locally and also won statewide. With that amount in Russell County, he was the top vote-getter during the primary election. Rob Rothenburger received just 189 votes.
Robert "Bob" Farmer of Louisville received the Democratic nomination for agriculture commissioner but was beaten in Russell County by just 16 voted by B.D. Wilson, 112 to 96.
In the Republican race for state auditor, John Kemper defeated Addia Wuchner in both Russell County and statewide.
Todd Hollenbach won that Democratic race in Russell County and statewide in the race for state treasurer, defeating Steve Hamrick.
Popplewell wished to thank all of her employees in the clerk's office, the local board of elections and all of the precinct workers for their help during the election. She even gave a big thanks to school custodians, who are a big help on election days.
"I would really like to thank all the school custodians for always being there to let us in and locking up on election days. They have to be up so early and I really appreciate them," she said. Precinct officers show up at the schools at 5 a.m. on election days and the school custodians are there to unlock the school for them.