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2022 Primaries: Moseley And Steele To Face Off In Judge-Executive Race

Preliminary Results For 2022 Primary

File image of the ballot collection vote at the Mercer County Fiscal Courthouse.

Robert Moore
Herald Staff

The 2022 primary election is over in Mercer County and voters have made their decision. For the most part, the primary held few surprises, with the candidates with the most name recognition winning the night.

As far as turnout, 3,694 out of 18,918 registered voters—approximately 20 percent—participated in the off year primary, versus 13.7 percent—2,462 out of 17,946 registered voters—who took part in the last off year primary in 2018. Turnout was down significantly from the 2020 election, when nearly 30 percent—5,312 of 17,837 registered voters—cast their ballot.

The preliminary results of the May 17 primary election are taken from the cumulative report provided by Mercer County Clerk Chris Horn.

Republican Primary
The incumbent, Sen. Rand Paul, handily defeated the five other candidates running against him, winning 1,870 votes, a little over 90 percent of the ballots cast. The Louisville Courier-Journal projected Paul to win the state primary and fight for reelection in November.

U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, whose 6th Congressional District now includes Mercer County after redistricting, picked up 1,796 votes, more than 87 percent of ballots cast. The Louisville Courier-Journal projected Barr to win the state primary and fight for reelection in November.

In the state representative race, incumbent Rep. Kim King defeated Republican challenger Tony Wheatley to win the nomination, collecting 1,334 votes, more than 63 percent of all ballots cast.

Down the ballot, the results were almost exactly the same in the judge-executive race, with Sarah Gray Steele collecting 1,249 votes, more than 61 percent of ballots cast, defeating fellow Republican Danny D. Holliday to face off against Judge-Executive Scott Moseley in November.

In the magistrate races, Stephen “Pete” Elliott defeated Teresa Butler and Albert Moore in the 1st magisterial district, collecting 301 votes, or 70 percent of the ballots cast. In the 2nd magisterial district, incumbent Magistrate Tim Darland defeated Benjamin J. Perry, collecting 294 votes, or nearly 80 percent of the ballots cast. Susan Thompson Barrington defeated George Jones in the 4th magisterial district, collecting 206 votes, or more than 66 percent of the ballots cast. The closest magisterial district was the 5th, where Kevin Hicks defeated Michael Rothacker, 93 to 76.

Finally, in the constable race for the 3rd magisterial district, Jonathan M. Holliday defeated Brian Hassall with 261 votes, or more than 67 percent of the ballots cast.

Democratic Primary
Former Kentucky State Rep. Charles Booker won the Democratic primary in Mercer County, collecting 955 votes, a little over 71 percent of the ballots cast. The Louisville Courier-Journal has projected Booker to win the statewide primary. He will face off against incumbent Sen. Rand Paul in November.

In the Democratic primary for the 6th Congressional District, Geoffrey M. “Geoff” Young defeated Chris Preece 697 to 481. With only 21 percent of precincts across Kentucky having reported, it was still too early at press time to call the race on which Democratic challenger will face off against incumbent U.S. Rep. Andy Barr in November.

Judge-Executive Scott Moseley, who was appointed by Gov. Andy Beshear to replace former Judge-Executive Milward Dedman last year, handily defeated his Democratic challenger, James C. Record. Moseley, who formerly served as Harrodsburg city commissioner, collected 1,163 votes, or nearly 80 percent of all ballots cast.

The general election later this year looks to be a close one judging by the votes cast in the primary, with only 86 votes separating Moseley and his Republican opponent, Sarah Gray Steele.

In the race to fill the judicial seat in the 50th judicial district, which includes Mercer and Boyle Counties, Patrick Barsotti led with 1,243 votes while Stacy Coontz collected 960 and Christopher Reed collected 901 votes.

Barsotti, Coontz and Reed are also the three candidates being considered by the Judicial Nominating Commission to take the place of former District Judge Jeffrey Dotson, who was appointed by Gov. Beshear to serve as Circuit Court Judge for the 50th Judicial Circuit.

The appointee will serve on the district bench until the general election on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

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