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Two new school board members elected

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One new city council member joins incumbents

By Linda Ireland

 Two new school board members and a new city council member were chosen in Tuesday’s election.

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L. Dawn Williams Conner defeated incumbent Norbert Skees 592-405 for the District 1 School Board seat. Her district encompasses Hodgenville West and Lyons.

Linda Pearman defeated incumbent Ronnie Chelf 554-417 for the District 2 School Board seat. Her district encompasses Hodgenville East and White City.

Conner and Pearman will join Joanna Hinton, who ran uncontested in District 5; Price Smith, who ran uncontested in District 4; and incumbent Michael Hornback. It is the first time in LaRue County’s recent history that a majority of school board representatives have been women.

School board terms are four years.

CITY COUNCIL

Local businessman James Alexander “Alex” LaRue took the second highest number of votes for city council in his first run at the office. He received 560 votes.

The rest of the council is made up of incumbents.

Top vote-getter was Jim Phelps Jr. with 598.

Woodie Handley received 560 votes; Bonni Clark received 558 votes; Glenda Wathen received 487 votes; and Kenny DeVore rounded out the top six with 440 votes.

Newcomer Rickie Joel Ogletree missed being elected to his first term on city council by four votes (436).

Walton “Wally” Sparks received 391 votes; Greg Harry received 379 votes; and Larry Davis received 357 votes.

LaRue said he was “honored and surprised” at the number of votes he received.

Harry, also in his first run at office, said he wasn’t sure if he would re-enter politics.

“But if you don’t run – you don’t know,” he said. “My motivation is for change to happen and several people were running who hadn’t run before.”

Long-time city councilman Eudell Stearman, who retires after this term, was all smiles before the vote count.

“I think I won,” he said, laughing. “I didn’t run.

City council terms are two years.

LaRue County Clerk Linda Carter said about 58 percent of the county’s 9,883 registered voters made it to the polls. Overall, things went smoothly.

One e-Scan machine in the Hodgenville West precinct wasn’t reading bar codes correctly but the problem was fixed, she said. The machines are designed to read the bar codes whether the ballots are inserted right-side-up or upside-down. Before it was repaired, the machine was reading only right-side-up.

There also was some confusion about voting precincts, Carter said.

“There were probably 200 calls before 8 a.m. from people wanting to know where to vote,” she said.

Carter ran two ads in The LaRue County Herald News leading up to the election informing voters of the voting places and the information was published editorially several times.

Others, who hadn’t voted in several elections, showed up at the Courthouse to vote only to learn the precincts had moved to schools or city hall last year.

“As a general rule, everybody was nice and just moved on to where they needed to go,” Carter said.

Local candidates who were unopposed include Circuit Clerk Larry Bell; State Rep. Michael Meredith; State Senator Carroll Gibson and Commonwealth Attorney Terry Geogehegan.

Republican candidates S. Brett Guthrie for U.S. Congress and Mitt Romney for President won LaRue County handily.

According to the Board of Elections, one local man received a write-in vote: former jailer Ralph “Mac” Trumbo received one vote for President.

Constitutional Amendment

In the constitutional amendment question, 4,411 LaRue Countians voted “yes;” 553 voted “no.”

The amendment says:

Are you in favor of amending the Kentucky constitution to state that the citizens of Kentucky have the personal right to hunt, fish and harvest wildlife, subject to laws and regulations that promote conservation and preserve the future of hunting and fishing and to state that public hunting and fishing shall be a preferred means of controlling wildlife?