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Republican candidates state Rep. Kim King and congressional challenger Andy Barr handily defeated their Democrat rivals Tuesday night in two heated races.
County Clerk Jason Denny said turnout was about 64 percent countywide, and that a total of 10,435 votes were cast. Of that total there were 2,307 straight ticket Republican voters and 1,720 straight ticket Democrat voters.
Denny said Election Day went smoothly in Anderson County.
“That’s a credit to the Anderson County Board of Elections and my staff,” he said. “They did a great job.”
The incumbent King (R-Harrodsburg) defeated Democrat candidate Kent Stevens to win a second term to the Kentucky House of Representatives.
This is the second time King and Stevens have gone head to head in the 55th District,
King defeated Stevens in 2010, but nowhere near as badly as she did Tuesday night.
Along with defeating him soundly in his home county, King scored an overwhelming victory in her home county of Mercer, defeating him by just over 3,700 votes in a 69 to 31 percent landslide.
Stevens did upend King in the small portion of Spencer County that is part of the 55th District by a total of 523-515.
“I am completely overwhelmed,” King said by phone moments after learning she had won so handily. “I am humbled by the support I’ve earned from Anderson County residents over the past two years and pledge my best effort to continue the path that I’m on.”
King said she never expected to win in Anderson County by such a large margin. King won Anderson County by 55 percent for a total of 5,618 votes. Stevens received 45 percent for a total 4,632 votes.
“We had received a lot of positive feedback, but a lot of it was anecdotal and we didn’t know that it would translate into votes.”
Stevens ran a series of critical ads over his campaign’s final few weeks, including calling King’s position on charter schools a “hair-brained” idea.
She said the negative ads were “disappointing.”
“We made the decision early on that we were not going to be negative,” King said. “We were going to talk about transparency and accountability as the foundation of my service, and we tried to hold firm with that.”
King said she is “humbled” by the margin of victory.
“Humbled and honored, and I want people to know that I’m just a phone call or e-mail away.”
In a $4 million close congressional race for the 6th District seat, candidate and former Lexington attorney Andy Barr beat incumbent Congressman Ben Chandler 51 to 47 percent.
Barr beat Chandler in Anderson County with 58 percent of a total 5,787 votes, 1,584 more votes than Chandler, who received 42 percent countywide.
Chandler, who has held his seat in Congress since 2004, narrowly beat Barr by fewer than 700 votes in 2010.
Incumbent state Sen. Julian Carroll defeated Republican opponent Frank Haynes for the 7th District state senate seat, with Carroll capturing 61 percent of the vote to Haynes’ 39 percent.
Carroll won Anderson County by 52 percent with 5,202 votes; Haynes received 4,824 votes for a total 48 percent.
George Geoghegan III was the only one of six challengers to the incumbents to secure a seat on the city council, knocking off Steve Rucker by just 14 votes, unofficially.
Geoghegan said his victory came as a surprise.
“Yes, it did,” he said. “Most of them have been on there a long time, and I’m a newcomer. I didn’t think many people who live in the city knew me that well.”
Incumbent city council candidates Bobby Durr, Robert “Sandy” Goodlett, William “Larry” Giles, Ken Evans and Paul Thomas Vaughn retained their seats on the council, with current member Steve Rucker losing his spot to Geoghegan.
Donna Crain Drury beat incumbent Steve Higgins by 84 votes to win a seat on the Anderson County Board of Education.
“I knew it was going to be close,” Drury said of Tuesday’s school board election. “I think Steve (Higgins) has done a great job in the years he’s served on the board.
“I feel people need a choice, and I think that there are some things that can be done to improve the school system.”
Drury said she looks forward to working with all other board of education members and Superintendent Sheila Mitchell to improve areas of the Anderson County school system.
“My biggest concern is the students; that’s why I ran,” Drury said. “I’d like to contribute in any way I can.”
Pam Robinson ran unopposed to fill the Anderson Circuit Clerk seat of retiring incumbent Jan Rogers. Robinson secured just over 7,000 votes.
Laura Donnell, who ran unopposed for Commonwealth’s Attorney, won with 7,335 votes.
A constitutional amendment to protect public hunting and fishing as the preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife overwhelmingly passed in Kentucky, according to news reports.
About 88 percent of Anderson County voters filled in “yes” for the amendment on their ballots Tuesday.
The amendment, which was passed by the General Assembly in 2011, will take effect immediately.