Clark, Dedman get nod in 55th District

May 19, 2004|ANN R. HARNEY

HARRODSBURG - When the polls opened in Anderson, Mercer and Spencer counties Tuesday morning, five people were in the running for their parties' nominations for 55th District state representative. Now there are two.

Sharon Clark roundly defeated Floyd Alan Adams to win the Democratic nomination for the job left vacant when Rep. Jack Coleman, D-Burgin, announced he would not seek re-election. Clark gained 3,553 votes to Adams' 1,249 votes, just short of a 3-1 margin.

Milward Dedman won the Republican nomination, defeating K. Louis Dean Sr. and T.A. Green. Dedman garnered 837 votes to 314 for Green and 205 for Dean.

The district Coleman has served for 14 years covers all of Anderson and Mercer counties and two precincts in Spencer County.


Turnout was light in all three counties, but it was heaviest in Mercer where Democrats chose the person to serve out the unexpired term of the late Judge-Executive Charles McGinnis.

Twenty-five percent of registered voters turned out in Mercer County; 24 percent of Democrats and 21 percent of registered Republicans voted.

About 21 percent of Democrats and 16 percent of Republicans voted in Anderson County. In the two Spencer County precincts voting for 55th District candidates, 13 percent of Democrats and 10 percent of Republicans voted.

Clark was surprised at the low turnout in Anderson County; she thought the state Senate race between Julian Carroll and Joe Graviss would have brought more voters to the polls.

"I feel like the Republican Party spoke with a loud voice," Dedman said Tuesday night. "The margin of victory was more than I expected, but I also compliment my opponents. They put their full effort into the race."

Clark also congratulated her opponent for his effort. "It's difficult to be new in the county," she said of Adams. "I think it's wonderful that people had a choice."

"I'm grateful to Republicans for giving me this opportunity," Dedman said. "I hope I can get some Democrats to vote for me (in the general election.)"

While Clark has pointed to her experiences both working in state government and in education, Dedman said he thinks what's needed in Frankfort is fewer politicians and more average citizens. Neither has held elective office before.

Dedman and Clark are taking different approaches to their campaigns for the general election in November. The GOP candidate said he and his family have worked hard on the campaign. "I want to take a little break, and I think my family and I deserve a little break," he said. "I want to spend some time with my family. I'll probably hit it hard the first of September."

Nevertheless, Dedman said he will attend some events this summer, including the fairs in all three counties.

Clark, on the other hand, will hit the ground running today. "I've got something scheduled at 9 (this morning,)" she said. "I may not have the financial resources, but nobody is going to out-work me."

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