Obviously in a mood for change, 16,993 voters, mostly Republicans, carried brooms to polling places and swept out a large portion of the courthouse establishment. Come first of next year, Pulaski County will have a new county judge-executive, a new sheriff, a new jailer, a new coroner and one new magistrate on Pulaski Fiscal Court.
The vote tabulation screen, watched by a standing-room-only crowd in the county clerk’s office, elicited oohs and aahs as totals came in from the county’s 56 precincts:
• Incumbent Judge-executive Barty Bullock, seeking a third term, was ousted by a razor-thin six votes. GOP’ers nominated challenger Steve Kelley to face Democrat Rodney Casada in the November general election. Charles Alan Carrender has filed a Statement of Candidacy indicating he may be on the November ballot as an independent candidate for judge-executive.
• Incumbent Sheriff Todd Wood was soundly beaten by Greg W. Speck, a lifelong Kentucky state policeman and retired commander of State Police Post 15 at Columbia. No Democrats filed for sheriff and Specks’ nomination is tantamount to election.
The margin of Todd’s defeat was shocking. Speck got 9,248 votes, or more than 62 percent of 14,909 votes cast in the three-candidate sheriff’s race. Todd, the first elected sheriff to succeed assassinated Sam Catron, got 5,510 votes and Bill Scott picked up 151.
• Incumbent Jailer Mike Harris got less than 8 percent of 14,586 votes cast in a nine-candidate race for jailer. David Moss, currently police chief at Ferguson and leading vote-getter with 3,032 votes, has no Democratic opposition and will be the new Pulaski County jailer beginning the first of next year.
Jeff R. Burton got 3,003 votes for jailer; Anthony McCollum collected 2,568; Rodney Stevens picked up 2,559; Harris was favored by 1,133 voters; Gary Ed Cromer got 976 votes; Michael Hall was the choice of 614 voters; Eric Henderson has 405 “Xs” by his name; and Rodney C. Baker got 296 votes.
• Clyde Strunk, pastor of Potter’s Place church, got nearly 33 percent of 14,075 votes cast in the race for coroner. Without Democratic opposition, Strunk will succeed Charles E. “Chuck” Godbey, serving as coroner by appointment.
In the race for coroner, Strunk tallied 4,621 votes; Godbey, 3,883; Scott W. Miller, 2,775; Shane D. Haste, 1,568; and Michael K. Noon, 1,228.
Longtime Pulaski County Deputy Clerk Linda Burnett will succeed retiring Ralph Troxtell as county clerk. Burnett, with 5,670 votes, bested Josh Anderson with 4,289; Tim Price, with 4,704; and Jim Reams with 115.
• Jimmy Wheeldon grabbed the GOP nomination for magistrate from incumbent Tommy Barnett in the 3rd District. Wheeldon this fall will face Democrat Deanna Wahlman for the 3rd District seat on Pulaski Fiscal Court.
GOP votes for magistrate in the 3rd District include Wheeldon, 1,964; Barnett, 1,153; and Bob Lunsford, 109.
Incumbents Jason Turpen, 1st District; Mike Wilson, 2nd District; Glenn Maxey, 4th District; and Mike Strunk, 5th District, all are Republican nominees for reelection.
GOP votes for magistrate in the 1st District –- Turpen, 1,688; Stacy W. Halcomb, 593; Allen Adcock, 526; and Judith Lynne Martini, 295.
GOP votes for magistrates in the 2nd District –– Mike L. Wilson, 888; James “Jamie” Warren, 773; Larry Hines, 538; Kennith Decker, 525; Dennis L. Wilson, 155 and Barry W. Flatt, 79.
GOP votes for magistrate in the 4th District –– Maxey, 1,072; Ronald “Rooney” Turner, 997; and Billy Bob Hardy, 784.
GOP votes for magistrate in the 5th District –– Strunk, 973; Jason Lee Flynn, 705; Jack Anderson, 284; Penny Jo Johnson, 244; and Douglas Hughes, 99.
Ronda Engle Boyd has filed a Statement of Candidacy indicating she may be an independent candidate for magistrate in District 1. Michael Brent Redmond is the Democratic nominee in District 2. Thomas D. Stevens III (Bud) is the Democratic nominee in District 5.
Constabulary nominees are: Danny Weddle, 1st District: Clyde Molen, 2nd District; Brad Wilson, 3rd District; James Mayfield, 4th District; and Michael “Wally” Wallace, 5th District. All are Republicans and none has Democratic opposition in November.
All voters, including independents, nominated incumbent Somerset Mayor Eddie Girdler and businessman Alan Keck to face-off in the November election for mayor of Somerset. Girdler got 1,547 votes; Keck was awarded 944; and Jim Rutherford was low man out with 428 votes.
In Somerset’s 4th Ward, incumbent James “Jimmy” Eastham and Betty Barnes Cook will advance to the November election for the 4th Ward seat on Somerset City Council. Eastham got 1,330 votes and Cook was second with 905. Stepping aside are Joseph Wiles with 298 votes and Justin Mikel Smith with 220.
In the slice of the 52nd House District that extends into Pulaski County, local Republicans favored incumbent Ken Upchurch with 973 votes. Jessica A. Burke tallied 357.
Pulaski County Republicans gave Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell 7,895 votes and Mike Bevin 6,081, the two top GOP candidates for the U.S. Senate. Democrats favored Alison Lundergan Grimes with nearly 80 percent of votes cast in the four-candidate race. Grimes got 1,457 votes in Pulaski County.
Local Democrats also favored Kenneth S. Stepp over Billy Ray Wilson to face incumbent Republican Hal Rogers in this fall’s election. Stepp got 1,024 votes and Wilson picked up 656.
As of early Tuesday night, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway’s Election Fraud Hotline had received a total of 11 telephone calls from Pulaski County:
• Three callers reporting electioneering within 300 feet of polls,
• Three complaining of general election fraud or other irregularities,
• One asked a procedural question,
• Two inquired about residency requirements,
• One caller asked a legal question, and
• One person had questions about special or absentee ballots.
Statewide, the hotline had received a total of 205 calls with 210 issues reported, according to Conway’s office.