Johnson County voters turned out to the polls Tuesday to decide several important local, state and federal elections.
Paintsville mayor, much of city council hang on
In a closely contested race for mayor of Paintsville, incumbent Bill Mike “Coach” Runyon held onto the position over Inez Baldridge, with 782 votes to 551.
The six seats on the Paintsville City Council were contested among eight challengers. They will go to incumbents Sara Hopson Blair (818 votes), David “Coach” Vanhoose (817 votes), Roger “Bo” Belcher (688 votes) and Tim Hall (677 votes), as well as newcomers Rick Preston (647 votes) and Sarah Kimbler (534 votes). Christopher Pierce (488 votes) and incumbent Patricia Eileen Nelson (528 votes) fell short.
Johnson County sees shakeup
In Johnson County races, many were tightly contested, including sheriff, judge-executive, jailer, PVA, county commissioners, constables and two board of education members for Johnson County Schools up for election.
In the judge-executive race, Democrat Mark McKenzie outpaced long-seated incumbent Republican Roger T. “Tucker” Daniel with a total of 4,322 votes, compared to Daniel’s 3,615.
Republican candidate Doug Saylor won the race for Johnson County sheriff with 4,350 votes eclipsing current Democrat Sheriff Dwayne Price’s 3,641 votes.
The results for property valuation administrator show incumbent Democrat Michael “Dip” Stafford secured a victory with 4,007 votes, outpacing Republican James David Castle’s 3,732 votes.
Johnson County jailer, the position currently held by Saylor, was won by Republican Steve Rose with 6,354 votes, over Democrat Jeffery Randall Hicks’ total of 1,392 votes.
In commissioner’s races, Dist. 1 saw a win for Republican incumbent Kathy Adams, with 5,410 votes outstripping Democrat Calvin Music’s total of 2,320, while Dist. 2 saw Republican Mike “Mikey” Jarrell’s 4,791 votes win over Democrat Richard A. Rohr Jr.’s 1,261 and Independent candidate Danny K. Blevins’ 1,637 votes. In Dist. 3, Republican Tim “Barber Tim” Salyer won out over Democrat Delbert Conley with totals of 5,295 and 2,476 votes, respectively.
In the Dist. 2 constable race, Republican James Ryan Caudill topped Democrat Bryan Castle, with a total of 1,482 votes to Castle’s 765, while in Dist. 3, Republican David Pridemore’s 1,950 votes beat Democrat Toby McKenzie’s 500.
Many other county races were unopposed, yielding only one possible result. Included in those unopposed were Anthony Skeans, who was the sole candidate on the ballot for commonwealth’s attorney, Penny Adams, the sole candidate for circuit court clerk and Sallee Conley Holbrook, who faced no challenge for county clerk.
Other unopposed races included county attorney, where Michael Endicott was unopposed, and coroner, where incumbent J.R. Frisby remained in place. The position of Johnson County surveyor was also unopposed, with Republican Clarence Scarberry securing the win and voters had only one choice — Republican Herbert E. Castle — in the magistrate’s race in Dist. 1, as well as James “Red Eye” Castle retaining the position of constable for Dist. 1.
In the Johnson County Schools Board of Education race, Jesse B. Salyer won Dist. 4 with 609 votes, outpacing Bradley N. Frisby’s 509 votes total, while Paul P.R. Greer was unopposed in Dist. 1, securing the victory by default.
For the Paintsville Independent School Board, only three contestants filed for the three seats: Joseph “Joe” Porter (843 votes), Marvin B. “Butch” Walker (742 votes) and H. Kenneth Fuller (720 votes).
State and federal races
With races for state and federal offices not yet fully counted as of presstime, Johnson County voiced its support for incumbents.
In the race for U.S. representative for the 5th Congressional District, Kentucky’s longest serving Republican in a federal office, Harold “Hal” Rogers, was supported over Democrat challenger Kenneth Stepp, with 6,518 votes to Stepp’s 1,261.
In state races, the contest for the recently vacated House District 97 came down to Republican Bobby McCool and Democrat Craig Lindon. Johnson County threw its weight behind McCool, a Van Lear resident, casting 5,614 ballots to Lindon’s 2,208.
As for the contest for the state Senate seat for District 30 between incumbent Brandon Smith, Republican, and Democrat challenger Paula Clemons-Combs, Johnson County supported Smith, with 6,090 votes to Clemons-Combs’ 1,470.