Local Election Results Are In

Jefferson County residents came out in mass during the Governor’s election cycle to make their voices heard voting north of 16,000 in combined voting total. While the bulk of votes were cast during early voting, in excess of six thousand voted Election Day. Strongly contested races on the state and national level drove the unexpected turnout, with 51% of registered voters showing up for the November 6th contest. While Presidential election cycles generally have a heavy local turnout, Tuesday’s final numbers came closer to a Presidential cycle than a Governor’s cycle.

Heading the ticket Tuesday was the Governor’s race which pitted Republican Bill Lee against Democrat Karl Dean. Lee showed strong in Jefferson County and the local vote was reflected statewide with Lee carrying 77% of the local vote and 60% statewide to far outdistance his opposition. Though the Governor’s race was the high seat, the most hotly contested race was that of current House Representative Marsha Blackburn and former Governor of Tennessee Phil Bredesen with both seeking a seat in the Senate that was vacant when Corker made the decision to bow out of the National picture. Though national pundits put the race between Blackburn and Bredesen as a close contest, Tuesday’s reality showed a different picture. Locally Blackburn took away more than 70% of the vote and captured around 55% statewide to comfortably assure her a seat in the Senate.

Incumbent Roe and new to the national picture Tim Burchett, both representing the GOP, showed well both locally ( Roe 84%) ( Burchett 77%) and statewide ( Roe 77%) (Burchett 66%) and securing seats in the House for District 1 and District 2 respectively. Incumbents for the State House, Faison and Farmer representing District 11 and District 17, secured another term with 80% and 79 % of the vote.

Locally, the race for Dandridge Alderman was tight. Incumbents Chambers (547), Depew (454) and Kesterson ( 436) held off challenger Gann ( 426) to maintain their seats on the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. Incumbents faired well in New Market, as well, with Frank Solomon ( 244) and Whillock( 257) holding off Quinn ( 190). Two new City Commissioners were elected in Baneberry with Gary Zander carrying the ticket with 151 votes followed by Tom Carter with 148 votes. Also competing for seats on the council were Plonski ( 99) and Best (61). Jarnigan won the seat for School Board District 3 with 2144 votes to Shands 1329.

There were also several uncontested races in the local municipalities. Cain was seated as Jefferson City Mayor with 1348 votes and incumbent Council Members Bunch (1088) and Purkey ( 1030) will return as local decision makers. Three Incumbents from White Pine will return for another term. Dukes ( 308), Marshall ( 317) and Taylor ( 381) were unchallenged in their quest for seats on the City Council.

Congratulations to all the winners and thank you to those that were willing to serve!

Source: Kristen Depew, News Director Jefferson County Post

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