Slow Turnout For May 3rd Primary Race – VOTES ARE IN

The Jefferson County May Primary was held Tuesday, May 3, 2022. This was the first year that candidates for the County Commission and the Jefferson County School Board were required to run in the Primary race. Both early voting and election day voting numbers were soft in Jefferson County with only 13.99% of registered voters casting a ballot.

While the majority of Judges seats and County Officials were in uncontested races, a few did have competition. A retiring Telford Forgety left an open seat and candidates Black and Ripley were vying for the nod from Jefferson County voters. Ripley garnered 2530 votes for an advantage over Black who took in 1051. The position of Chancellor serves several counties and Ripley won the republican nomination. There was no democrat candidate for this position. Incumbent James Dunn outdistanced challenger Michael Shults with 3234 to 931 votes. Jefferson County Trustee Hall will retain her office, leading the vote 2817 to challenger Phagan’s 1481.

Competition for offices of representation in Jefferson County was stiff in some districts. In District One for the County Commission Incumbents Huffaker and Kesterson faced challenger Norton for the prize of holding one of two seats for the district. Norton lead the ticket with 370 votes, followed by Huffaker with 364 and Kesterson with 282. Norton and Huffaker will compete with democrat challenger Overholt for the two District One seats in the August election. Incumbent Patterson lead the ticket with 271 votes for the District Two County Commission seat. Newcomers Coleman with 240 votes and Moore with 213 votes came in second and third respectively. Patterson and Coleman will represent the republican ticket when they take on Mallette for the two available District Two seats in August.

District Three of the County Commission will be represented by Incumbents Snodgrass and Lowe, as well as first time official Brooks. District Three, which serves the White Pine area, is the only district that has three representatives. All other districts have two representatives at the table. District Four Incumbent Byrd with 200 votes will be joined by Johnson (182) in the General Election. They fended off Webb who brought in 163 votes in the Republican Primary. Byrd and Johnson will be challenged by Short-Long ( 20) who will be representing the Democrat party. District Five Incumbents Seals ( 245) and Solomon ( 297) held off Brooks ( 188) to secure their seats on the County Commission, as there is no democrat challenger.

Highly contested District Six went to Incumbent Blevins who lead the ticket with 206 votes and Douglas with 180 votes. Also running were Smith with 85 votes and Wilson with 163 votes. There is no democrat challenger for this district. District 7 had only two candidates, Scarlett with 254 votes and Smallman with 183 votes. While there is no democrat challenger in the General Election, an independent candidate will be challenging on the ballot. District Eight Incumbents Coleman (345) and Dockery(323) will retain their seats at the County Commission table. There is no democrat challenger for this district.

Likewise District Nine Incumbents Carmichael (302) and Walker (272) have no democrat challenger and will be serving another four years on the County Commission. District Ten had only one candidate for the republican ticket, Incumbent Reed (167) will be joined by an independent candidate in the General Election.

The Jefferson County School Board will have some familiar faces and some new faces at the table following the General Election in August. District One Incumbents Potts and Bradley were challenged by one opponent, Ibbetson, who lead the ticket with 934 votes. He was followed by Bradley with 782 votes and Potts with 735 votes. Ibbetson and Bradley will face democrat Mcleman for two seats in the General Election. A close election in District Three for two seats on the School Board ended with Jarnigan with 467 votes, Cameron with 365 votes and Pinkerton with 363 votes. With 8 provisional

ballots still in play and two of those in District Three, it is still not clear if they will impact the outcome of the District Three race. Two additional candidates, Fair ( 350) and Samsel (165) came in fourth and fifth respectively in the five candidate race. No democrat was on the ballot.

All other offices were unchallenged but received confidence votes. For those totals please visit The Jefferson County Post Facebook page.

Source: K. Depew, News Director