Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Incumbents dominate at the polls

Leonard wins vote for Family Court position, will face Rogers in November

J-E News Editor
Incumbents were victorious in the three contested local races in Tuesday’s primary election, which drew roughly 30% of Webster County’s 9,408 voters.

A total of 88 absentee ballots were cast across the county while the total vote was 2,851.
Sheriff Frankie Springfield defeated Anthony Ray Blue 2,256 to 207. Springfield picked up 68 absentee votes with Blue getting 10. Springfield carried 91.6% of all votes cast, making him the highest vote getter of all candidates on the ballot.
Springfield, who will now be serving his fourth term as Sheriff, was quick to spread the praise of his office staff and deputies.
“First of all, I’m so humbled and honored for the support from the voters tonight,” he stated. “We try very hard to do the very best job we can for the citizens of Webster County and I can’t thank the voters enough. And I couldn’t do it without the hard work and dedication of my deputies, office personnel and security officers (Judicial Center). They make this office work and they are great people to work with, very caring people.”
Second District Magistrate Jerry “Poogie” Brown received 467 votes to defeat Pete O’Nan (200) and James T. “J.T.” Skinner (164).
Webster County Jailer Terry Elder defeated Marcey Parker 1771 to 690, earning 72% of the vote. Elder won the absentee ballots by a landslide, defeating Parker 62-16. But that’s not the end for Elder. He will have to face Independent Party Candidate Jason Branson in the November General Election.
“I thank God for what he has done for me, and my family and the voters of Webster County for standing with me,” said Elder. “I think the voters are proud of the job I’ve done. I will continue to work hard for Webster County while I’m here.”

One of the most heated races of this primary was the 5th Judicial Circuit 2nd Division Family Court Judge’s race. This race featured a candidate from each of the voting counties and has produced the biggest buzz of all the positions on this year’s ballots.
Each of the three candidates performed well in their home counties, claiming the home victory, but in the overall total of the three counties, Leonard was the top vote getter, earning 3,214 votes. Rogers finished second with 2,648 and Peak came in third with 2,032.
Webster County based Ben Leonard pulled off a dominating victory in Webster County with 1,822 votes, followed by Brandi Hagan Rogers (588) and Laura Alvey Peak (396). 
“We are pleased with the results and humbled by the outpouring of support,” Leonard said. “We couldn’t have done it without the people of Webster, Union and Crittenden County turning out to vote.”
Peak took the Union County vote with 1,422, followed by Leonard with 795 and Rogers with 634.
Rogers led in Crittenden County with 1,426. Leonard came in second with 597 votes and peak recieved 214.
“I think I made a strong second,” Rogers said in a phone interview. “I think I’ve shown that my story and platform are the real deal. I look forward to meeting more folks and showing what I can provide for our community.”
Leonard and Rogers will soon be hitting the campaign trail again as the top two vote getters from this election will face off in the November General Election.
These candidates are campaigning to replace sitting Family Court Judge William E. Mitchell who will retire at the end of this year.
In the 1st Congressional District, the race between Charles Kendall Hatchett and newcomer Wesley Seaton Bolin, who has ties to Webster County, was too close to call at 9 p.m. with Hatchett earning 55 percent and Bolin 45 percent.
Bolin is the son of Dixon native, WCHS graduate and Murray University professor Dwayne Bolin.
Bolin, making his first bid into politics, did carry Webster County with 57.9% of the vote (1,149 to 835).
Incumbent Mitch McConnell defeated Matt Bevin to secure the Republican party nominations, while Secretary of State Allison Lundgren Grimes easily defeated the competition to earn the Democratic nomination to face McConnell in November.
In Webster County McConnell received 197 votes to defeat Matt Bevin (81), Brad Copas (4), Chris Payne (3), and Shawna Sterling (13). Grimes lead Webster county voters by getting 1,287 votes to defeat Burrel Charles Farnsley (241), Gregory Brent Leichty (258) and Tom Recktenwald (200).