Long Wins Mayor Race By Four Votes; Caldwell Wins Burgin Mayor Race, Elliott Elected PVA
Mayor Eddie Long has won his campaign for reelection, but it was close. Long defeated his opponent, write-in candidate Art Freeman, by four votes, 1,033 to 1,029.
Those are the unofficial results provided by the Mercer County Board of Elections, who will submit the vote tally to the secretary of state’s office.
Even though it’s only a four vote margin, it will be up to Freeman to contest the results. Kentucky state law does not provide for recounts like Florida, where recounts are mandatory if the margin of victory between candidates is 0.5 percent or less. A candidate who wants to contest election results must first ask for a recanvass, in which officials recheck vote tallies, making sure the totals taken from the voting machines are correct, and retabulate absentee votes. The county would cover the expenses incurred.
After that, a candidate could sue for a recount. In that case, the circuit judge would order the voting machines reopened and tested to make sure votes were tallied correctly. In order to sue for a recount, the candidate must first request a recanvass. The candidate who sued for the recount pays the legal expenses.
Election officials had to count over a thousand write-in votes cast in different races, including the Burgin City Council, the Harrodsburg City Commission and the Harrodsburg mayor race.
Commissioners Charlie Mattingly, Scott Moseley, Jack L. Coleman and Marvin “Bubby” Isham were all reelected despite a last minute write-in campaign by Karla Curtsinger.
In Mercer County’s other highly anticipated mayoral race, Burgin Mayor George Hensley lost his bid for reelection against former Burgin Police Chief Jim Caldwell, who won 238-193.
In the Burgin City Council race, incumbents David Caldwell, Sindicat “Sid” Dunn, Jamie Keebortz and David R. Peavler were reelected while new candidates Joseph Monroe and Frances Hayslett Cord won election.
Burgin Board of Education Chairman Robert “Bob” Clark won reelection while Zack Gross and Katrina Sexton won the other two open seats.
A Red Wave?
While there has been much talk of a Democratic blue wave, here in Mercer County there was a Republican red wave. With 9,100 votes cast on Tuesday, 1,892 people voted straight ticket for the G.O.P., with only a little over 1,198 voting straight ticket for the Democrats.
That turnout helped power a lot of incumbents to easy wins, with most collecting up to 60-percent of the vote.
The only incumbent to lose a county-wide race was Property Valuation Administrator David L. Best, a Democrat who lost a close race to Republican challenger Jessica Elliott, who won 51.5-percent of the vote compared to Best’s 48.5-percent. Mercer County Jailer Bret “Chambo” Chamberlain, a Republican incumbent, defeated his Democratic challenger William Moore, collecting 67.8-percent of the vote.
But it wasn’t all bad news for Democrats locally. Sheriff Ernie Kelty, a Democrat, defeated Republican Kevin D. Bugg 6,184 to 2,752 and Magistrate Donald Webb, a Democrat, defeated Republican George Jones, 819 to 777. All other magistrate candidates ran unopposed and were reelected.
In the third magistrate district, Democrat Steve Peyton scored a narrow defeat over Republican Greg Collier, 823 to 798.
All other county officers, including the judge-executive, county attorney circuit court clerk and coroner, ran unopposed.
Larry Yeager and Billy G. Montgomery, who represent the second and third districts on the Mercer County Board of Education, won reelection.
In other races, Rep. Kim King, a Republican who has served the 55th district, which includes Mercer County, in the Kentucky House of Representatives since 2011, defeated Cathy Carter, a retired teacher and Democrat.
Republican incumbent Tom Buford defeated Democrat Carolyn Dupont to again represent the 22nd senate district, which includes Mercer County.
U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie, a Republican, defeated Democrat Hank Linderman to represent the 2nd Congressional District, which includes Mercer County, for another two-year term.
Pamela R. Goodwine, who was challenging Rob Johnson to serve as judge of the fifth district court of appeals, lost Mercer County, but won the overall race.
For full election results, check out this week’s issue of the Harrodsburg Herald.