Commonwealth Journal

November 3, 2012

Large voter turnout in Pulaski expected

BY BILL MARDIS, Editor Emeritus
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset —  

A veteran member of the Pulaski County Board of Elections says the general election Tuesday may see the largest turnout of voters in the history of Pulaski County.
Mark Vaught bases his projection in part on the more than 600 absentee walk-in voters by midweek and about 570 applications for mail-in absentee ballots. He said turnout may be above 60 percent (of eligible voters).
“We’ve prepared 37,500 ballots for the county’s 44,422 registered voters,” said Vaught. That would accommodate a turnout of more than 84 percent which is unlikely. “We won’t run out of ballots,” Vaught assured.
Pulaski countians normally turn out for presidential elections. Four years ago, when Democrat Barack Obama beat Republican John Cain, 26,587 went behind the curtains. Obama, completing his first term as president of the United States, is seeking a second term. He and Mitt Romney, his Republican challenger, are neck and neck, according to public opinion polls.
Romney is a hands-down favorite among Pulaski County voters. Republicans outnumber Democrats by nearly 3 to 1 –– 30,137 to 11,372.
The weather shouldn’t be a factor. A long-range forecast indicates it will be partly cloudy and cool with a high temperature of about 52.
Minor party presidential candidates whose names will be on the ballot with Democrat Obama and Republican Romney are:
• Jill Stein, a physician in Lexington, Mass. who ran against Romney for governor in Massachusetts a decade ago, is the Green Party candidate. Her running mate for vice president is Chen Honkala, Philadelphia, Pa.
• Randall A. Terry, Purgitsville, West, Va., an anti-legal abortion activist, is an independent candidate. Terry is also a candidate in Florida for the U.S. House of Representative. His running mate is Missy Reilly Smith of Washington, D.C.
• Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico, is the Libertarian nominee. His running mate is James P. Gray, Newport Beach, California.
There are 11 write-in candidates for president including one from Kentucky. Dr. Louis Todd House is an anesthesiologist with Dupont Surgical Center in St. Matthews (Kentucky).  His wife, Suzanne Dungeon House, would serve as vice president.
Other write-in candidates are:
• Erin Kent Magee, Lehigh Acres, Fla., is a Republican who is optimistic about his chances as a write-in candidate for president. His vice president would be William Thomas Harvey, Ocala, Fla
• Virgil Goode, Rocky Mount, Virginia, is a former congressman and illegal immigrant opponent. He is the Constitution Party’s nominee for president but a write-in candidate in Kentucky. His  running mate for vice president is James Clymer, Millersville, Pennsylvania.
• Barbara Ann Prokopich, a resident of Elk, Washington, is a small woman just over 5 feet tall. She likes to be called “Grandma Barb.” Her running mate is Allen R. Farnham, resident of Chattaroy, Washington. Both Elk and Chattaroy are unincorporated suburbs of Spokane.
• Richard Duncan, Aurora, Ohio, is a Realtor and frequent candidate for office. He ran for vice president in 2004, for president in 2008 and U.S. Senator from Ohio in 2006. Ricky Johnson, Sharon, Pa., is his current running mate for vice president.
• Stephen Durham, Seattle, Washington, is a member of the Freedom Socialist Party and a write-in candidate for president in Kentucky. Christina Lopez, Seattle, is his running mate.
Ross C. “Rocky” Anderson is a former mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah, and has practiced law in Salt Lake City for 21 years. His running mate for vice president is Luis J. Rodriquez of San Fernando, Calif.
  Thomas Conrad "Tom" Hoefling is an American political activist. He is the founder and national chairman of America’s Party as well as the party's 2012 presidential nominee. His running mate for vice president is Jonathan Ellis, Savannah, Tenn.
  Keith Judd, Texarkana, Texas, is a perennial candidate who claims to have run for president each time since 1996. His running mate is Dorne Smith of Newport, Maine.
  Dennis Knill, Sodona, Arizona, says he is an honest hardworking American patriot and statesman, the only and last chance candidate to be able to reform Washington and the bureaucrats. His running mate is David Gilder, also of Sedona.
  Jerry White (born Jerome White), Lathrup Village, Michigan, is an American politician and journalist and member of the Socialist Equality Party of the United States. His running mate is Phyllis Scherrer, Pittsburgh, Pa.
  Names of write-in candidates won’t be on the election ballot. A pencil will be available in the voting booth and there is a space on which to write the name of a presidential candidate.
  Elsewhere, in the 31-county, 5th Congressional District of Kentucky, veteran Congressman Hal Rogers, a Republican from Somerset, will be challenged by Kenneth S. Stepp, Manchester, the Democratic nominee. Rogers was first elected to Congress in 1980.
  Chris Girdler, recently named district director for Rogers, is the unopposed GOP nominee to succeed retiring Vernie McGaha as state senator from the 15th Senatorial District of which Pulaski County is part.
  About 4,000 Pulaski County voters in the 24th House District will help choose between incumbent Terry Mills, a Democrat, and M.J. “Bill” Pickerill, a Republican, for state representative. Both are residents of  Lebanon.
  Pulaski County precincts in the 24th District are Ansel, Buncombe, Mt. Zion, Eubank and Fall Branch.
  Sara Beth Gregory, in the 52th House District; David Meade in the 80th House District; Jeff Hoover in the 83rd House District; and Tommy Turner in the 85th House District, all are unopposed Republicans for election or reelection. Mills, Gregory, Hoover and Turner are incumbents. Meade will succeed retiring Danny Ford in the 80th District.
  George Flynn is unopposed for another term as Pulaski County circuit clerk and Eddy Montgomery is unopposed for reelection as commonwealth’s attorney in the 28th Judicial District. Their names will be on the ballot for complimentary votes.
  Also, there are city elections in Somerset, Burnside, Ferguson, Eubank and Science Hill as well as school board elections in all three districts.
SOMERSET CITY COUNCIL
               Ward 1
1. Jim Rutherford
2. Marvin Allan Coomer
               Ward 2
1. James Clarence Floyd
2. Linda Stringer
               Ward 3
1. Brent Fleming
2. Jerry Wheeldon
               Ward 4
1. James C. (Jimmy) Eastham
2. Mark Beasley
               Ward 5
1. Jerry Girdler
2. Claude “Jr.” Philpot
               Ward 8
1. John Ricky Minton
2. David Blevins
               Ward 9
1. Jim Mitchell
2. Ricky Wilson
               Ward 10
1. Pat Bourne
2. Tim Rutherford
The top vote-getter in each ward will be seated on  the council in a citywide election. In other words, eligible voters in the city may cast a vote in each ward election. Incumbent councilors Mike New in Ward 6; Donna Hunley in Ward 7; Jerry Burnett in Ward 11; and Tom Eastham in Ward 12 do not have opposition. Their names will be on the ballot..
SCIENCE HILL CITY COMMISSION
1. Terry Wesley
2. Jeffrey W. Wesley
3. Mike Hall
4. David F. Phelps
5. Reed Watson
The top four vote-getters will be elected.
FERGUSON CITY COUNCIL
1. Linda Hughes
2. Anthony W. (Tony) Deprato
3. Nora Newby Anderson (deceased)
4. Malissa (Pitman) Thacker
5. Pammela Sue Cordell
6. John Westberry
7. Sandy Pitman
The top six vote-getters will be elected. Anderson’s name will be on the ballot but votes for her won’t be counted.
BURNSIDE CITY COUNCIL
1. Bill Leslie
2. Lulu Jean Thompson-Burton
3. Dwayne Sellers
4. Willis H. Eadens
5. Donna Walden Hinkle
6. Frank P. Deniro
7. Susi Brooks Lawson
8. Brenda Smith Gerkin
9. Curtis Brinson
10. Joyce M. Gregory
The top six vote-getters will be elected.
EUBANK CITY COMMISSION
1. Curtis G. Todd
2. Dr. Aaron Belcher D.C.
3. George Dunne
4. Edward Ray Hicks
5. Connie Belcher
6. Larry D. Wheeldon
7. Alton Fulcher Jr.
8. Bill R. Jones
The top four vote-getters will be elected.
PULASKI COUNTY BOARD OF EDUCATION
                    Division 1
1. Olivia Minton
2. Brandy Daniels
                    Division 2
1. Louis Hyden
2. Jim Wilson
                    Division 5
1. Bob Conley
2. Michael Citak
The top vote-getter in each division will be elected.
SOMERSET BOARD OF EDUCATION
1. Warren Shannon Thompson
2. Jacob “JJ” Grabeel II
3. Jeff L. Perkins
4. Gretchen W. Cole
The top two vote-getters will be elected.
SCIENCE HILL BOARD OF EDUCATION
1. Charles R. “Renny” Smith
2. Tim Vander Ploeg
3. Herbert Skip Norfleet
The top two vote-getters will be elected.
PULASKI COUNTY SOIL AND WATER CONSERVATION DISTRICT BOARD OF DIRECTORS
1. Don Minton
2. Barbara Fulcher Jones
3. John S. Bruner
4. Timothy Tarter
5. Jack Debord
6. Guy Taylor
The top four vote-getters will be elected.
  Voting will begin at 6 a.m. Tuesday and balloting will continue until 6 p.m. If a voter is in line at 6 p.m. he or she will be allowed to vote.
Bill Mardis may be contacted at bmardis@somerset-kentucky.com or telephone 451-4919.