Republicans carry the day in Grayson County elections

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New faces coming to county, Leitchfield offices

By Rebecca Morris

Grayson County voters supported crime victim’s rights, alcohol sales near Rough River, and Republicans in Tuesday’s elections.
In all 8,777 of the county’s 18,464 registered voters went to the polls -- a turnout of roughly 48 percent. Earlier in the day, precinct workers had said it was one of the busiest midterm elections in recent memory.
Marsy’s Law, the proposed constitutional amendment granting crime victims certain rights in the judicial process, passed 4,324 to 3,013 in Grayson County, with another 1,437 people “undervoting,” or not making a choice on the question, according to unofficial, final results. Around 9:45 p.m., with 108 of 120 counties reporting, the measure was passing statewide, with 866,079 votes for and 475,458 against.
In mid-October a Franklin Circuit Court judge ruled the measure’s wording on the ballot didn’t accurately say what the amendment would do and said
the votes on Marsy’s Law can be counted but not certified by state elections officials, at least for now. A legal appeal to the Kentucky Supreme Court is expected to decide the matter in coming weeks.
In the Rough River area, voters approved four measures -- on votes of 150 to 67, 156 to 64, 156 to 65 and 156 to 64 -- allowing by-the-drink alcohol sales at golf courses, restaurants, potential wineries and historic sites in Falls of Rough. The vote makes the area the third in Grayson County allowing alcohol sales: Leitchfield has both package and by-the-drink sales, and north of Leitchfield voters gave Arbor Stone Vineyards “small farm winery” status in June 2016, allowing it to produce and sell wine.
The contentious race for 46th Judicial District Commonwealth’s Attorney went down to the wire, with Leitchfield resident Rick Hardin narrowly defeating challenger Adam Cart 13,827 -- 53 percent -- to 12,301, according to the Kentucky Secretary of State’s office. Hardin had edged out Cart in Grayson County 4,672 to 3,671; results from the other two counties in the district, Meade and Breckinridge, were unavailable late Tuesday.
In the race for the 46th Judicial District Judge, 2nd Division, seat Steve Crebessa had defeated challenger Zanda Myers 14,536 to 7,436, according to unofficial results from the Secretary of State’s office. Crebessa carried Grayson County with a similar margin, 4,047 to 2,852 votes.
In Leitchfield, the election marked the end of an era: for the first time in more than two decades, voters didn’t see the name William Thomason on the ballot for the city’s mayoral seat. After 23 years at the city’s helm, Thomason announced late last year that he would not seek re-election.
That cleared the way for Tuesday’s race featuring Rick Embry and Kevin Pharis. Embry won the election by 155 votes, with 929 overall, according to unofficial final results.
Currently a city council member and mayor pro tem, Embry has previously served on the city council, the Leitchfield Utilities Commission and the Grayson County School Board.
He didn’t respond to a telephone message seeking comment Tuesday night, but in previous statements to The Record has said he will focus on increasing activities and employment options for the city’s youth, cleaning up abandoned and trashy properties, and making sure Leitchfield is pro-business.
In the race for Leitchfield City Council, incumbent Harold Miller was the top vote-getter, with 1,117. Incumbents Margie Decker, Kelly Stevenson and Raymond “Tooty” Cottrell were second,third and fourth, with 1,026, 1,016 and 1,015 votes respectively. Replacing Embry and Margaret Alvey-Fey, who was defeated in the mayoral primary, are former council member Billy Dallas and Clayton Miller, who had 968 and 701 votes respectively. Following council tradition, Harold Miller likely will be named mayor pro-tem in January.
In Clarkson, incumbent Bonnie Henderson was re-elected mayor. With 170 votes, she held off challengers Dennie Wilkerson, who had 116 votes, and Darrick Austin with nine.
Incumbent city commissioners Joyce Bell and Bob Vincent will return to office after receiving 146 and 140 votes respectively. They will be joined by new members Robbie Richardson, who netted 143 votes, and Tara Sallee, who had 122.
In Caneyville, incumbent mayor James Paul Embry secured another term by defeating challenger Tim Dotson 118 to 75. The city commission also will contain familiar faces with incumbents Mike Geary, Deborah Embry, Janice Minton and Scott Majors returning to office. They received 136, 125, 125 and 124 votes, respectively, to challenger Melissa Dotson’s 88.
In the contested county races, Republicans easily outpaced their Democratic rivals.
Charlotte Willis will become the next county clerk after defeating co-worker Becky Mercer 5,800 to 2,822. Both decided to run when their boss, Sherry Weedman, announced that she would not be seeking re-election.
In the 2nd Magisterial District, Darin Whitely defeated his Independent challenger James Thomason 947 to 555.
In the 4th Magisterial Disctrict Damon Hornback walked away from Democratic challenger Steve Alvey 1,010 to 414, while in the 5th Magisterial District Brian Ashley defeated his Democratic challenger Leslie Allen Gibson 1,031 to 325.
In the 6th Magesterial District, Republican Neal Saltsman received 996 votes to challenger Barry J. Cannon’s 487.
18th District State Rep. Tim Moore will be returning to Frankfort for another two years, after fending off Democratic challenger Donielle Lovell. Between Grayson and Hardin counties he received 10,210 votes to Lovell’s 4,672, according to unofficial results from the Kentucky Secretary of State’s office. In Grayson County Moore had a 71 percent margin, racking up 5,988 votes.
U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie also appeared poised for a return trip to Washington, D.C. The Bowling Green Republican had a commanding lead over his two challengers at press time Tuesday night. With 18 of 21 counties in the 2nd District reporting at 9:45 p.m., Guthrie had 148,319 votes to Democratic candidate Hank Linderman’s 69,979 and Independent candidate Thomas Loecken’s 4,968. While Linderman is a Falls of Rough resident Guthrie had more support in Grayson County, racking up 6,439 votes to Linderman’s 1,713.
Totals in uncontested races included:
* Circuit Court Clerk: Stacie Blain - 5,591
* Property Valuation Administrator: Ernie Perkins - 7,018
* County Judge Executive: Kevin Henderson - 7,250
* County Attorney: Jeremy Logsdon - 7,076
* Sheriff: Norman Chaffins - 7,199
* Jailer: Jason Woosley - 7,103
* Coroner: Joe Brad Hudson - 6,982
* County Surveyor: Franklin Keith Higdon - 6,712
* 1st District Magistrate: Robby Higdon - 945
* 1st District Constable: Damon Lasley III - 896
* 2nd District Constable: Alvin Dockery - 1,241
* 3rd District Magistrate: Tommy Higdon - 1,224
* 3rd District Constable: Marion Higgs - 1,185
* 4th District Constable: Bryan Hammons - 1,122
* 5th District Constable: Mark Stanton - 1,116
* 6th District Constable: Tim Saltsman - 1,169
* District Judge, 1st Division: Kenneth Harold Goff II - 6,095
* Grayson County School Board, 3rd District: Anna Majors - 1,173
* Grayson County School Board, 5th District: Brett Abney - 1,042
* Grayson County School Board, 2nd District: Alfreda Weedman - 1,317