Voter turnout at 20 percent for primary election

Voter turnout at 20 percent for primary election
By no means did Weakley County voters bombard the polls for Thursday’s election, but for certain candidates, the turnout was enough to shake up the county commission.
There are a total of 21,205 registered voters within the county. Of those, only 4,281 people actually cast their ballots during last week’s county general election and state primary.
More than half of those voters cast Republican ballots, which allowed Frog Jump farmer Stephen Fincher to remain a candidate for the 8th District Congressional seat.
Fincher claimed an overwhelming 62 percent of Republican votes in Weakley County. In the end, Dr. Ron Kirkland took 25 percent of the vote, George Flinn claimed 9 percent and Randy Smith took a little more than two percent of the Republican votes cast in Weakley County.
Democratic candidate for the 8th District Congressional seat Roy Herron walked away with 86 percent of the 1,692 Democratic ballots cast in the county on Thursday.
His opponent  was Kimberly Smith. Smith was virtually unknown and claimed 12 percent of the Democratic votes.
Herron and Fincher now vie against one another for the seat being vacated by Con. John Tanner upon his retirement in November.
Gubernatorial Democratic candidate Mike McWherter and Weakley County native took 99 percent of the Dem votes in Weakley County, walking away with 1,546 ballots cast in his favor.
The Republican gubernatorial candidate chosen by Weakley County voters resonated across the state as Bill Haslam will vie against McWherter in November.
Haslam  of Knoxville claimed close to 46 percent of the votes in the county. His Republican opponents – Ron Ramsey and Zach Wamp, each took 23 percent of the Republican ballots cast.
Palmersville farmer and newcomer to this year’s election Andy Holt managed to gain a nomination for the 76th District House of Representatives seat on the Republican ticket, as well as claiming a seat on the Weakley County Board of Commissioners.
Holt took 1,878 votes last week for the House of Rep slot on the Republican ticket.
Incumbent State Rep. Mark Maddox of Dresden claimed 1,483 Democratic votes. The two will go up against one another in the November general election.
On a local level, several commission slots that were up for grabs came down to absentee ballots cast and counted last on Election Day.
In District 1, Holt defeated incumbent and long-time commissioner David Rook by a margin of only seven votes.
Holt will join incumbent John Salmon as a District 1 county commissioner.
Of the ballots cast in District 1A and 1B, Holt landed 235 votes; Rook took 228 votes and Salmon claimed 231 votes.
Two other commission districts saw contested races.
In District 5, newcomer and Republican Scott Fortner of Martin claimed a seat on the commission with 206 ballots cast in his favor.
Democratic incumbent Larry Taylor of Martin will remain on the commission with 266 votes in District 5. Long-time Democratic commissioner and chair of the board of commissioners Dick Phebus was defeated with only 181 votes in District 5.
A third Republican and newcomer to the commission, David Hawks of Martin claimed a seat on the board in District 7.
Hawks took 353 votes. Incumbent Democrat Bob Bell retained his District 7 seat with 250 votes and newcomer Democrat Shirley Callis followed close behind with 240 votes.
Hawks and Bell will serve as the District 7 commission representatives.
In other commission races, Democrat and former commissioner Kevin McAlpin of Dresden will rejoin the board as a District 9 commissioner with 342 votes cast in his favor.
Other uncontested commission races are as follows:
• District 2: Julia Rich – 259 votes; Eric Owen – 218 votes;
• District 3: Mike Medling – 361 votes; Roger Stewart – 340 votes;
• District 4: Tommy Jones – 334 votes; Joe Farmer – 317 votes;
• District 6: Earl Wright – 170 votes; Dale Overton – 135 votes;
• District 8: Jack Vincent – 306 votes; Sam Sinclair, Jr. – 228 votes;
• District 9: Jimmy Westbrook – 345 votes; McAlpin – 342.
Write-in votes in each district for commission seats included:
• District 1: 2 votes;
• District 2: 7 votes;
• District 3: 2 votes;
• District 4: 3 votes;
• District 5: 0 votes;
• District 6: 2 votes;
• District 7: 2 votes;
• District 8: 5 votes;
• District 9: 5 votes.
Three Republicans will now sit on the 18-member county commission. Commissioners serve four-year terms.
Incumbent candidate Marci Floyd of Martin managed to keep her seat as Weakley County Trustee with a little more than 69 percent of the vote. Floyd had 2,762 ballots cast in her favor.
Her opponent, Republican newcomer Alex Britt of Sharon claimed 1,226 votes.
Floyd was elected to a four-year term.
Uncontested county seats included:
• Weakley County Sheriff – Mike Wilson with 3,288 votes. There were 23 write-ins. Wilson will serve another four-year term.
• Weakley County Circuit Court Clerk – Pam Belew with 3,292 votes. There were 9 write-ins. Belew will serve four years.
• Weakley County Clerk – Pat Scarbrough with 3,354 votes. There were 9 write-ins. Scarbrough will serve four years.
• Weakley County Register of Deeds – Donna Winstead with 3,328 votes. There were 10 write-ins. Winstead will serve another four years.
• Weakley County Road Supervisor – Kermit Hopper with 3,199 votes. There were 19 write-ins. Hopper will serve another four years.
• Weakley County Mayor – Houston Patrick with 3,300 votes. There were 23 write-ins. Patrick will serve another four-year term.
Elected candidates across the county will be sworn into office next month.
Voters will be asked to head to the polls once again this year in November to elect a new governor, a congressman and a state representative for District 76.
WCP 8.10.10

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